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August 2018 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

from safe (imagine declarer having the ace in one

hand and the queen in the other (either way

round for example). But then nothing is safe on

this hand, and you cannot pass the lead to

partner. A spade was certainly the winner at the

table as partner had QJx and was able to win and

shoot a heart through. The lead was found at the

table by my partner, Manchester player Raymond

Semp.

(b) ™K: 4 marks. Usually I am quite attracted by

leads like this. This hopes to hit a stiff ™Q in either

dummy or partner's hand, so you can continue the

suit and hope to get in with your ´K. At IMPs I

would seriously consider it, but at pairs it is just

too risky. You are likely to be leading round into

the AQ and the extra trick may be the difference

between a good board and an almost bottom.

(c) ™J: 4 marks. Exactly the same considerations

apply as the heart king. The heart king gains when

someone has a stiff Q, the heart J gains when

partner has Ax and you can run the suit(!) or when

partner has stiff ace since at least you have not

given a trick away. Both are too risky for me at

pairs though.

(d) ®9: 6 marks. This is safer than a heart, but

leading dummy's longest suit, and the suit declarer

will almost certainly play on for tricks, is

dangerous. It could so easily carve up partner's

holding or do declarer's work for him. The latter

was the case this time since partner had AQxx and

the lead gave the declarer the tempo to get the

clubs going before you could get at all your tricks.

We have overcalled light, and have gained

information as a result of it. The ®K is definitely on

our right and partner does not have much of a hand

or much club support. Again, this is pairs so the

focus is on not giving away tricks, not necessarily

beating the contract.

(a) ´5: 2 marks. Very dangerous. Why would you

want to lead dummy's first suit? This might easily

give the whole suit away (as it would have at the

table).

(b) ™9: 10 marks. People do not lead dummy's

second suit enough against NTs. Dummy will not

have extreme length in it and if partner has some

useful values, they could well be in hearts. At the

table this worked like a dream when dummy had

™KQJx and ®10x. Partner won the ™A and

played the ®J. Three off! I am pleased to say that

I found this at the table.

(c) ®A: 1 mark. This is a horrible lead! Imagine

declarer with ®KJx and partner with two low and

an entry? Every time partner has only two clubs

(almost certain if partner has enough values to

beat it) you will need the ´K to be a fast entry.

Plus, it is pairs. Why are you giving declarer a

cheap trick?

(d) ®7: 6 marks. I would probably lead this at IMPs,

since the most likely way to beat the hand is for

partner to have two clubs and an entry.

Obviously, it could be right at pairs as well, but

just seems too likely to give away an extra trick

when the contract is making. Look at your

rounded suit holdings - it does look like the cards

are lying favourably for declarer, doesn't it? r

Why not take advantage of Alan's

expertiselou@ebu.co.ukhands where the

lead has foxed you? Email the editor,

lou@ebu.co.uk and, if suitable, Alan

would be delighted to use them.

SEND IN YOUR LEAD

CONUNDRUMS

Choose from: (a) ´5; (b) ™9; (c) ®A; (d) ®7.

Hand 3

´ K 6 5

™ 9 3

t J 5

® A Q 9 7 4 3

South West North East

Pass

1t 2® 2´ Pass

3t Pass 3™ Pass

3NT All Pass

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