Page 0046

STANDARD ENGLISH

Top of a sequence of

honours can be a good lead

hearts must be at least as good as Q-J-9 to

justify leading the ™Q. By finding the one Hand 1 Hand 2

useful card in your hand, partner has done ´ QJ982 ´ A2

Sandra Landy well to lead a heart. If you play the ™A and ™ 76 ™ A63

return the ™8, you will set up declarer’s ™K t Q9762 t A65

but you hope to create some heart winners ® 8 ® 86543

for your partner to cash when he gains the

LEADING the top card of a sequence of lead. Dummy has 14 points and you have 5. Hand 3 Hand 4

honours in a suit where we have length is Even if declarer has a maximum of 14 ´ A3 ´ 863

often a good lead. As well as establishing points, partner must have at least 7 points of ™ 853 ™ AKQ2

potential winners for our side, it passes which 3 are the ™Q-J. So it’s quite possible t A K 10 9 7 t 10 8 5

useful information to partner about where that partner will have an entry to cash his ® 742 ® 975

your points are and how the contract might heart winners once they are established.

be beaten. This can help your partner work Play the ™A and return the ™8.

out where your tricks and also declarer’s 1. ´Q. Although the sequence of spades is

tricks might be coming from. missing the ´10, the presence of the nine

Suppose you are on lead to an opponent’s and eight make this a strong holding. A

3NT contract and you hold ™Q-J-10-9. Dummy fourth highest ´8 is likely to suggest to

Any of the four cards would do, but you ´ AJ4 partner that you have a bad suit and are

should choose the card that will pass the ™ 54 leading your second highest spade from a

most useful information to your partner. t AKJ982 poor holding.

If you lead your fourth highest card, the ® 98 2. ®6. Don’t lead an unsupported ace! Lead

™9, partner may think you are leading the You a club despite your very poor club holding.

top card of a suit with no honours. Lead ´ Q 10 2 Even if declarer has three club stoppers,

the ™Q and partner knows you have a N ™ A82 your first lead will knock out one. When in

good holding in hearts. W E t Q43 with one of your aces you can knock out a

S

But what exactly do you expect partner ® J 10 8 7 second club stopper. When in with the

to do with that information? Consider this second ace you can knock out the third club

hand where South opened 1NT showing stopper (if declarer has a third stopper) and

12-14 points and North jumped to 3NT. Once again the contract is 3NT (1NT – you hope to get in with your third ace to

Your partner leads the ™Q and this is what 3NT) and partner leads ™Q. Dummy has cash two winning clubs.

you can see: 13 points, you have 9. Declarer has at least 3. tK (or tA). With 11 points, partner

12 points of which three are the ™K, leaving has at most 4, maybe fewer. So to beat the

at most 6 points for partner and maybe as contract you must set up diamond

Dummy few as 4, of which 3 are the ™Q-J. If winners and hope to get in with the ´A, to

´ 10 4 3 partner’s heart winners are established, the cash those winners. Leading out the tA

™ 54 only possible entry to partner’s hand is and tK will establish diamond tricks

t AKJ9 likely to be in the heart suit. You should when opponents’ diamonds break 3-3 or

® AQ65 play your ™2 not your ™A. Declarer doesn’t when one of them has a doubleton

You know who has the ™A, it could be in your diamond which includes an honour. More

´ 982 partner’s hand, so declarer will probably on king leads soon.

N ™ A82 win the first heart with the ™K and will 4. ™A (or ™K). No Stayman used, which

W E t 743 surely play on diamonds. When you get in suggests dummy doesn’t have four hearts,

S

® J 10 8 7 with the tQ, you can play the ™A and then but declarer may. This time you just have

the ™8. You just hope partner has five to hope you can cash four hearts and that

hearts and that we can cash four winning partner will produce the setting trick. I

Given you have the ™A, partner should hearts to defeat 3NT. had one student who led the ™2 from this

have a decent sequence of cards in the Which card would you lead with the holding and let declarer make a trick with

heart suit. From ™Q-J-7-6-3 partner would following hands, when your right-hand ™J-4 facing ™8-3 in dummy. The ™J won

lead the ™6, fourth highest counting down opponent has opened 1NT which has trick one when the defence could have taken

from the top, not the queen. Partner’s top been raised directly to 3NT? the first five heart tricks! r

46 English Bridge October 2010 www.ebu.co.uk

Index

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