Prize Leads Quiz by Alan Mould
Answers to August Problems
if I was going to make an aggressive lead, I up!), he will be in no doubt as to what is going
Hand 1 would lead a spade not a club. on and you will get your ruff and be a hero. If
´ K72 declarer has the ®9 and it scores a trick with
™ KJ8 HHHHH partner having a certain trick as well, you will
t 10 9 8 be a goat. Experts like being heroes and I am
® J652 sure this would be the ‘expert lead’ so I have
given it top marks.
West North East South HHHHH
1NT ® A K Q J 10 6 3 2
Pass 2NT Pass 3NT
´ 10 9 7 3
West North East South
Pick your lead out of: (a) ´2; (b) ™8; 1´ t K Q 10 7 3
(c) t10; (d) ®2. 5® 6´ All Pass ® 10 7 3
(a) ´2: 7 marks. Dummy has shown no Pick your lead out of: (a) a spade; (b) a
interest in the majors, so this is a decent lead, heart; (c) ®A/®K; (d) ®2. West North East South
playing partner for length in the suit. It is part- 1™ Pass 1´
ly a question of whether the defence needs to (a) a spade: 2 marks. My least favourite lead Pass 2® Pass 2NT
be active or passive, and the auction suggests on this hand. The auction doesn’t sound like Pass 3NT Dble All Pass
passivity may be better. The contract may well the opponents are short of trumps! The best
go off if you do not give declarer any tricks. that can be said for this is that it is passive, but Pick your lead out of: (a) ´10; (b) ™5;
(b) ™8: 3 marks. This could be right but it is that is unlikely to be the right strategy here. (c) tK/tQ; (d) ®3.
very aggressive. Unless partner has a heart (b) a heart: 6 marks. This could be right if it
honour, it is liable to cost at least one trick and is necessary to set up heart tricks in partner’s This lead is entirely dependent on what you
maybe a tempo. The trick could be vital as this hand, but equally it could be carving up think partner’s double shows.
auction suggests the contract is close. partner’s holding and partner may have dia- (a) ´10: 2 marks. It is unclear to me why you
(c) t10: 10 marks. In general I am no fan mond values instead. are leading a spade unless you think double
of passive leads against NT contracts but (c) ®A/®K: 8 marks. It is entirely possible asked for a spade lead – a peculiar agreement.
here all the signs suggest that this is probably that there is a club to cash and it is best to cash (b) ™5: 10 marks. For most people double
the right time to make one – the opponents it now before the mice get at it or, even worse, would be a request (some would say a com-
have limited values for game, I have no there is a singleton in both hands, declarer mand) to lead a heart, dummy’s first-bid suit.
attractive aggressive lead and this seems a strips your other suits and throws you in for a You needed to do it on this hand as partner
particularly safe lead. ruff-and-discard. For me it is close between had ™K-Q-J-10-9 and ®A. Without the heart
(d) ®2: 6 marks. Fourth highest of your this and . . . lead declarer easily comes to nine tricks.
longest and strongest. Usually I am a fan of (d) ®2: 10 marks. As Clint Eastwood said: (c) tK/tQ: 5 marks. Without the double
such leads but leads from J-x-x-x are not ‘Do ya feel lucky?’. The easiest way to beat this we would all have led a diamond honour,
usually wonderful and dummy is expected slam is to get partner in for a diamond ruff. If but the double changes all that as partner
to have length in the minors. So in this case, partner has the ®9 (and remembers to put it has asked you to do something else. Most of
the time you will get away with leading from
this strong a holding but not this time –
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS: declarer had tA-J-9-x and could grab the
diamond lead and knock out partner’s ®A.
Master: Peter Allison Open: Ian Pagan (d) ®3: 5 marks. Some people do have the
agreement that double calls for dummy’s
Chadderton, Lancs London
second suit and so you get a reasonable mark
for this. However, you should be able to work
out from your hand that partner must want a
Sponsored by heart lead rather than a club. The opponents
have shown no interest in playing in hearts
and you have a singleton. r
34 English Bridge October 2012 www.ebu.co.uk