Page 0017

17

October 2019 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

Hand 1 Hand 2

´ 10 8 5 4 ´ 5 2

™ A Q 5 4 ™ 9 8 7 3

t K J 9 t K 10 7

® Q 4 ® A 6 3 2

Hand 3 Hand 4

´ K 5 4 ´ 5 2

™ Q 10 ™ 9 8 7 3

t A 9 8 5 3 t K 10 7

® 10 8 6 ® 9 6 3 2

You might think it unlucky that partner has no

points in spades; you might think it unlucky that he

has no points at all; but if you had thought before

making your opening lead, you wouldn't have run

into such bad luck.

How many points do you have? 14 by my count.

And the opponents just bid to game which requires

25. How many points can partner have? One at

most. The reason we lead from our strong holdings

is to establish tricks, but how can we establish our

king and jack if partner has no help for us?

Leading from kings can give away tricks at the

best of times, and this is certainly the worst of times.

The spade lead doesn't just give away a trick, it also

tells declarer how to play the hand. After pocketing

a spade trick, declarer will know not to touch the

suit again.

It isn't obvious how declarer will play from here,

but it is clear that he would have had a harder time

on a passive club lead. On a club lead, who knows

how he'll play? He might make, he might not, but

you won't have made it easy for him. All you can do

is lead passive and hope that tricks come your way.

The ®J is the right lead.

Every time you find yourself on lead, you should

consider what suits partner is likely to be long in

and how many points he will have. Once you figure

that out, the right lead will often be obvious. And if

it turns out that your incredibly well-reasoned lead

doesn't work, don't give up. There will be others

that made the same lead and you won't be in a bad

position until you give up.

TRY THESE ONES

W N E S

1NT

Pass 3NT All Pass

Hand 1. With 12 points, partner can have at most

three. A lead from hearts is too risky and we

should opt for a spade lead. If partner has length,

we might be able to establish the fourth spade

without conceding a trick, and a lead from four

small is unlikely to give away a trick.

Hand 2. Even though clubs is our best suit, our

major suit bias should pull us towards leading a

heart. Leads from ace to four can often be poor,

even in a major.

Hand 3. Our major suit bias can only pull us so far.

A diamond lead is standout. Ace to five is often a

very good lead.

Hand 4. Our major suit bias should push us

towards a heart, rather than a club, but a spade

lead is probably best. With only three points of

our own, partner is marked with a good hand and

a fair suit in spades since we are so short. It's not

unlikely that partner will hold something like

KJ987 a lead through dummy's holding could

work well. We must hope that partner reads our

´5 as from a weak holding. A glance at the

number of points in his own hand should steer

him on the right path. r

PREMIER GRAND MASTER

Congratulations to

Andrew Petrie, Lancashire

on becoming a

Premier Grand Master

the English Bridge Union's highest rank,

requiring a minimum 1,500 Green Points

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