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A Switch in Time 1

A Switch in Time
How to take all your tricks on defense

by Pamela and Matthew Granovetter


2 A Switch in Time

A Switch in Time is published by Granovetter


Books © 2003. No part of this ebook may be
reproduced without the permission of the
publisher, except for the purpose of review.

This ebook is available only through member-


ship to Bridgetoday.com.

for Pat

The original “A Switch in Time” was printed


in the United States of America. This is a
complete copy of that book.

ISBN number 0-940257-17-3

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A Switch in Time

Introduction .................................................................... iv

I. Count, Attitude and No Signals! ............................... 8

II. The Obvious Shift Principle to the Rescue ........ 19

III. Suit Preference, Obvious Shift’s Big Brother .... 34

IV. Kibitzing at the World Team Olympiad ............. 51

V. When the Obvious Shift Isn’t So Obvious .......... 78

VI. Aesthetics ................................................................. 97

VII. Troubleshooting .................................................. 123

VIII. You’re in the Hot Seat ..................................... 142

Rules and Cut-Out ...................................................... 185

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Introduction

T he following deal was reported by Eric Kokish in Bridge Today


magazine, Nov/Dec 1993 issue.

Santiago, Chile, Bermuda Bowl 1993, Semifinals


Norway vs. Brazil

VuGraph
Last Board   —   Open Room
North-South Norway, East-West Brazil
Running Score: Brazil +9

East dealer
East-West vulnerable

North (Aa)
ß Q J 4 2
˙7
∂ A J 7 6 3
ç 8 4 3
West (Barbosa) East (Comacho)
ß K ¡ 8 5 ß 9 7 6
˙A K543 5çX ˙Q 8 6 2
∂ Q 4 ∂ K ¡ 9 5 2
ç A J ç K
South (Groetheim)
ß A 3
˙J¡9
∂8
ç Q ¡ 9 7 6 5 2

Closed Room Result: 5çX by the Brazilian South,


down 1, +100 for Norway

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“Five clubs doubled goes down only one in the closed room. The
Brazilian supporters are screaming with relief and delight. How
can they possibly lose now?
. . . The Open-Room contract flashes up. It is five clubs doubled,
too. The South Americans are cheering.
“Barbosa leads the ˙A and East plays the deuce (standard
attitude signals). . . . Barbosa then switches to the ace of trumps,
crashing the king. . . .There is a hush over the room now. Barbosa
has not yet continued trumps. He is wondering what Camacho’s
discouraging heart card was all about. Did it not say: ‘Make your
normal switch’?
“The normal switch appears to be a spade, looking at the
dummy. Or did it say: ‘Play whatever you like’?
“From Barbosa’s point of view, passive defense would allow the
contract to make if declarer held the ∂K and not the ßA, and if
his partner could not stand a spade switch, why didn’t he play an
encouraging heart at trick one?”

[At trick three, West switches to . . . the ß8.]

“The ßQ wins, a spade is led to the ace, a heart is ruffed, a spade


is ruffed, a heart is ruffed, and the çQ fells the jack. South claims,
for a spectacular +550 and 12 unbelievable imps to Norway —
winning on the final deal, 208-205.”

Why We Wrote This Book


This deal was an unhappy one for the defense (to say the least).
When we first read about it, our main reaction was that we were
glad it didn’t happen to us! We had great sympathy for West, who,
whether he misdefended or not at trick three, surely has had
sleeping problems for many a night afterward.
What was the solution to the hand? In our methods, we asked
ourselves, how would we have defended? Certainly East’s card at
trick one was an attitude signal, but which suit was it asking
partner to switch to? What was the “obvious shift”?
Until this deal occured, we had some loose definitions about
the Obvious Shift. When we began to discuss this hand with
friends, it became apparent that determining the Obvious Shift

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was not the only issue   —   we were talking another language!


“Obvious Shift?” some asked. “What the heck is that?”
Apparently, the concept is a state secret. We started to research
and found it mentioned in only a few books and one or two
articles. Yes, there was some literature out there, but few writers
had really expounded on the subject. And, as you can see from the
world championships disaster, this was an area that needed
expounding! So here we go.

Three Popular Signals


The three popular signals in defensive carding are: attitude,
suit preference and count. The vast majority of bridge players use
these signals without firm understandings. Often two defenders
are on different wavelengths, one giving one signal while the other
interprets it as something else. This book is designed to clear the
cobwebs of confusion. We will show how defense can be like
bidding, with simple clear messages going back and forth between
the two players. After you and your partner read this book, your
bridge game will take a quantum leap. And you will never again
return to the dark ages of guesswork.
There is only one thing we ask of you: You will have to think!
Imagine being relaxed and happy to defend contracts together,
just as you are happy when the opponents stay out of your auction
and you can bid unimpeded according to your system. After a little
practice, imagine being able to take all your tricks on defense.
Imagine that defense can be fun as well!
You will see that almost all the example hands in this book are
from real-life recorded championships. We want to impress upon
you the disastrous state of defensive carding and also to avoid any
impression that we are making up hands to fit our carding
methods. As you will see, these carding ideas are the carding
methods of a few, select champions. With this book, however, the
secret is finally out.

Pamela and Matthew Granovetter

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