Page 0057

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February 2020 English Bridge

You know a lot about the hand (dummy is 4·3·1·5

or 4·3·0·6) and declarer presumably has five hearts

and the diamond ace. It is also certain that partner

has 'his usual rubber bridge hand'. That should

make it clear what to lead.

(a) ´Q: 4 marks. Not likely to achieve that much,

and may not help at all if dummy comes down

with ´AK10x (as it did).

(b) ™A/K: 10 marks. You know dummy is short in

diamonds and you know you have all the values.

This is clear to cut down dummy's ruffs. ™AK

followed by the tK was the only way to beat the

hand.

(c) tK: 7 marks. Seductive but wrong I think for

the reasons given above.

(d) ®Q: 1 mark. I cannot see any upside to this at

all. The opponents (unless they have gone

completely nuts) will have both the ace and king

of clubs, so even if you could set up partner's jack,

you cannot ever get to it.

Pairs Bonus: ™A/K: 5 marks. Letting through 4™

doubled will score you precisely 0 matchpoints,

so definitely a top heart in Pairs as well.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS:

Master: Rupert Timpson Open: Danny Roth

Chadlington, Oxon Chigwell, Essex

Sponsored by

in playing in them, but is it likely that partner will

have enough to be able set up the spades, and then

get in to cash them?

(b) ™A/K: 5 marks. 'To look at the table' as they say.

Well yes, but you already know it is declarer with

the heart stop (unless they have taken a real punt),

and this runs the serious danger of isolating your

suit.

(c) ™10: 10 marks. Call me boring, but this is what

I would lead, because it is the simplest way to beat

the contract. This relies on partner having a

doubleton heart and an entry (and let's face it if

partner does not have an entry, then you are not

beating this). Yes, it will give declarer a trick if

partner doesn't have an entry or has a singleton

heart, and if partner does have an entry it will

isolate your hearts, but in that scenario you may

well be unable to beat the hand. And if you could,

you would probably have to lead this:

(d) t3: 7 marks. This basically plays partner for a

singleton or void heart, and enough diamonds

and entries to get in and cash the suit (along with

our ™AK). It is certainly a plausible line of

defence - I just think it needs more from partner

than the ™10 lead.

Pairs Bonus: ™10: 5 marks. Again, I would lead the

same thing at Pairs. You may say that this is too

aggressive and may isolate my hand and I never

get at my heart tricks. I think that is highly

unlikely. Declarer will need a long suit in dummy

to chuck away their remaining hearts. Also, I

think that is what most of the field will lead, and

if in doubt you may as well follow the herd as that

way at least you don't get a terrible score. This

time the ™10 was very right as partner had a

doubleton heart and the ®A so that was two off.

My correspondent tells me the Bridgemate was

littered with 3NT making after a top heart lead.r

Choose from: (a) ´5; (b) ™A/K; (c) ™10; (d) t3.

Hand 3

´ 5 2

™ A K 10 9 7 2

t Q 6 5 3

® 3

South West North East

1® 1™ 2® Pass

3NT All Pass

(a) ´5: 3 marks. OK, partner probably has a few of

them since the opposition have shown no interest

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