However, if a heart lead was right you will need a
sympathetic partner to avoid comments like: 'I
suppose if I had opened 3® you would have led a
heart. . .'
(c) t2: 1 mark. Giving away your trump trick. No
(d) ®6: 10 marks. This is just my choice for the
reasons given above. At the table this was rather
cruelly the winner. Declarer had:
´AK ™AK tAKQ10xxx ®xx
and dummy was 5-2-1-5 with ´Q and ®A-Q, so
declarer has twelve tricks but cannot get at them on
a club lead. I think this is all quite close (apart from
a diamond!) so have marked accordingly.
West North East South
Pass 2®2 Pass 2t3
Pass 3NT All Pass
1 12-14; 2 Stayman; 3 No major.
Choose from: (a) ´J; (b) ™8; (c) a diamond; (d) a
This problem was sent to me by Manchester player
and partner Gary Hyett, and comes from the
English Premier League. We have a fairly unap petis ing
collection to lead from. What is the best of a bad
(a) ´J: 3 marks. This is a very aggressive lead and
there is no evidence that such a lead is called for.
Every time the spade honours are split between
declarer and dummy you have given a trick away.
Plus it only gains when declarer has both spade
honours and partner has length and can get in twice
to lead through declarer and then cash the long suit.
All very unlikely.
(b) ™8: 10 marks. I am not usually a big fan of
leading short suits but here there is plenty of
evidence that it could be right. Partner has most of
our defensive strength (assuming that you have any
chance of beating the contract) and at least four
hearts. It is also relatively unlikely to give away a
trick (though there are layouts where it will, of
course). Plus it was the winner at the table and was
´ A J 10
™ 8 4
t 10 8 3
® 9 7 6 4 2
June 2015 English Bridge
found by, among others, multiple world champion
John Holland, so who am I to argue? Partner held:
´xxxx ™AKxxx tQJx ®x
so could just duck the heart lead (they were 3-3)
and wait for you get in with the ace of spades.
(c) A diamond: 5 marks. Neither fish nor fowl, in
my view. It doesn't set up your long suit and it is
unlikely to be partner's.
(d) A club: 8 marks. My second choice, but inferior
just to a heart I think. This is right if you can set up
the clubs and get access with the spade ace, but that
means partner will need some good clubs, which
increases the chance that declarer will simply have
enough winners before you can get in and cash
26 - 28 June 2015
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