April 2016 English Bridge
(a) a spade: 10 marks. The best lead in my view,
giving us the chance to set up some tricks in
partner's hand. After all we need at least two tricks
from partner in order to beat this.
(b) a heart: 2 marks. A horrible lead! Firstly dummy
will have at least six trumps and declarer's shortest
suit is likely to be hearts - it is pretty unlikely he will
be ruffing anything so a trump achieves nothing.
And it might be disastrous - imagine dummy with
™A-J-9-x-x-x and declarer with ™K-x for example,
won't partner be pleased?
(c) tA: 1 mark. Again just way too aggressive. Every
time declarer has the king that is a cheap trick you
have given away which is unlikely to come back
(d) a club: 6 marks. Well if I wasn't going to lead a
spade this would be my choice but it is far inferior
to a spade in my view. Firstly it is highly unlikely
you can set up more than one trick in the suit unless
partner starts ruffing but declarer may be
able to draw trumps quickly if that looks likely.
Second, you may well set up discards for declarer.
That is what happened at the table when dummy
was 3-6-3-1 with a singleton ®Q and declarer had
®K-J-x so the spade losers went away.
West North East South
Pass 4NT2 Pass 6NT
1 12-14; 2 Natural and invitational
Choose from: (a) ´K; (b) ™2; (c) a diamond; (d) ®8.
It would seem that partner has his usual rubber
bridge hand(!) so you will have to beat this on your
own. Moreover your fate may well not be in your
hands - if both major suit aces are in dummy for
example you are not going to beat this. Your
problem is to give yourself the best chance of
beating it if at least one of those aces is in declarer's
hand - so protect your high cards.
(a) ´K: 6 marks. If I wasn't going to lead a diamond
this would be my choice. You are hoping declarer
´ K Q 10 2
™ K 5 3 2
t 7 6 5 2
will need to take the heart finesse to you in order to
generate enough tricks and then you cash the spade.
But it could just as likely give away the twelfth trick.
(b) ™2: 1 mark. Really? Giving declarer a cheap trick
in a situation where you KNOW partner has no
high cards. No thanks!
(c) a diamond: 10 marks. This would be my choice.
It gives nothing away and lets declarer get on with it.
If it makes so be it, but at least you have not
committed felo de se.
(d)®8: 3 marks. I don't like this as it is not as safe as
it looks. Given the opposition have bid 6NT with a
combined 32 count (at most) one or the other may
well have a 5 card suit and this is most likely to be
clubs. Imagine for example dummy's clubs being
K-Q-10-9-x and declarer's A-x-x - wouldn't that be
unfortunate … r
LONDON has won the Tollemache Cup, the
inter-county championships for teams of eight.
They finished on 105 VPs, well ahead of the
field. Kent was second with 86, with Surrey
third with 79.
This was the 20th time that London has won
the event, though it was the first time since
2006 - defending champions Middlesex were
fifth. It was a seventh victory in the competition
for Nick, a fifth for Tom, fourth for Frank, and
third for Rob - all others were winning for the
first time. r
London Tollemache team - Franklin To, Willie
Coyle, Graham Orsmond, Rob Cliffe, Kieran
Dyke, Tom Townsend, Mike Bell, Stelio di Bello,
Phil King and Nick Sandqvist (not pictured)
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