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        X.    INDIVIDUALS

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An individual suit in a defender's hand is the one and only suit whose parity is known.


When a defender holds an individual suit, upon declarer's first lead of a trump or proxy suit, the defense regards the trump or proxy length as known, and a disclosed pair is established.


The defender with the individual suit uses a HI/LO signal in the trump or proxy suit to identify the single suit.


Consider this  weak notrump deal featuring an individual heart suit and a proxy diamond suit with East:

CHX10.gif (14312 bytes) West leads the heart queen, low from dummy, East follows  signaling  odd hearts. Declarer wins with the ace. East captures South's diamond queen and exits with a heart,  won in dummy.

Declarer plays  diamonds -king, small to the jack, and another- to force West to pitch before East can help with a discard. Usually good enough but too late to bar a prism signal.

East's individual suit is odd hearts. His diamond proxy suit  is odd. Diamonds and hearts form a like disclosed pair. Spades and clubs are the even single suit candidates.

On the diamond king East plays LO, nominating the low ranked club candidate his even single suit.


Consider West's problem- to unguard spades or clubs- on the lead of South's last diamond:

CHX11.gif (18816 bytes)

Even clubs

Red Prism

Odd spades

Index three
4-4-3-2 pattern
3=2=4=4 distribution

Declarer's threat is in clubs. West discards a spade, holds clubs, and defeats the contract.

The full deal:

CHX12.gif (20733 bytes)


Minor transplant surgery on the South and East hands leads to a variation in East's carding. Play shows that East holds odd hearts and an odd diamond proxy- a like disclosed pair. The even single suit candidates are spades and clubs.

In this variation East plays HI on the diamond king, nominating the high ranked spade candidate the even single suit.

West to discard on a diamond from declarer:

CHX13.gif (11001 bytes)

Even spades

Red Prism

Odd clubs

Index three
4-4-3-2 pattern
4=2=4=3 distribution

Declarer's threat is in spades. West discards a club, holds spades and defeats the contract.

The full deal:

 CHX14.gif (21403 bytes)



Consider this example featuring West's individual heart suit and a proxy club suit with two cards available for signaling:

CHX20.gif (17237 bytes)

West leads the heart ten, East plays the ace, and the defense takes the first four tricks. On the fourth heart, dummy and East discard spades and declarer a diamond. A spade exit at trick five, won by South's ace, leaves the parity of the spade suit in doubt. Hearts is the one and only suit of known parity- the individual suit.

Declarer plays clubs- king, small to the jack, ace and another- and East is forced to pitch before West can make a helpful discard. Good technique but ineffective against a prism signal.

West's individual suit is even hearts. Clubs the odd proxy suit. Hearts and clubs form an unlike disclosed pair- the single suit candidates.

On the club king West plays HI- the high ranked heart candidate is my even single suit.

East, who cannot guard both spades and diamonds, to discard on the lead of dummy's last club:

CHX21.gif (16204 bytes)

Even hearts

Round Prism

Even clubs

Index four
4-3-3-3 pattern
3=3=3=4 distribution

West can help with diamonds. East discards a diamond and saves spades.

The full deal:

CHX22.gif (20666 bytes)


An exchange of spots between West and South leads to a variation in West's carding. Play indicates that West holds even hearts and an odd club proxy- the single suit candidates.

West follows LO on the first round of clubs nominating the low ranked club suit as the odd single suit.

East to discard on dummy's last club:

CHX23.gif (10745 bytes)

Odd clubs

Round Prism

Odd hearts

Index three
4-4-3-2 pattern  
4=3=2=4 or 2=3=4=4
distribution

Declarer's diamond discard on the fourth heart contra indicates 4=3=2=4. Declarer started with 2=3=4=4 and threatens in diamonds. East blanks the spade queen.

The full deal:

CHX24.gif (20832 bytes)


Prism signals...so many messages, so few cards. Fortunately, one suit often suffices.

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