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October 2019 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

This doesn't look hopeful. We have an 11 count and

partner has declined to bid. So what is best?

(a) ´5: 10 marks. This plays partner for the ´10 or

´Q plus an entry or, less likely, the ´K with

declarer having, say, the ´Q10x. I think it is just

more likely than a heart working but it is very

close, and thus reflected in the marking. Somewhat

amusingly at the table partner did have the ´10

but the diamonds were KJ10xx opposite Axxx so

declarer simply safety played by taking the

diamond finesse into your hand and you could not

continue spades to advantage. Ah well!

(b) ™Q: 9 marks. No one seems interested in hearts

so partner may well have a few. Essentially this

plays partner for the ™K and an entry, and so is

very close to the same required as a spade lead.

(c) t4: 1 mark. Trying for a ruff are you?

(d) ®3: 3 marks. Frankly, I cannot see that this is

much better. Why are you leading dummy's

second suit when it looks like you desperately

need to set up your own suits? Sometimes leading

dummy's second suit is a very good idea, but

usually when it looks like the opposition have no

fit (auctions such as 1™ - 1´, 2® - 2NT, 3NT for

example). This is not that time.

Pairs Bonus: ™Q - 5 marks. I lean to the ™Q at

Pairs. If it is about overtricks, which is likely, then

the ™Q is less likely to give away a vital trick than

a spade (perhaps leading round into KQ10).

The best known advantage of transfers has

happened - we are leading round into a 2NT

opener, with a pretty unattractive selection. What is

best?

(a) ´A: 1 mark. This more or less plays partner for a

singleton or the king, and why should either of

those be the case?

(b) ™10: 6 marks. Unlikely to do much harm, but

what good is it going to do? It could certainly be

right if the hand is about being passive and just not

giving tricks away, but with everything breaking, it

seems as if we need to get at tricks.

(c) t10: 9 marks. It seems to me that you need to

lead a minor to try and set up some tricks. Why

do I give this one mark fewer than the ®10?

Simply because just occasionally partner may

have doubled 3t on good diamonds, so it is

fractionally less likely that diamonds are the right

lead.

(d) ®10: 10 marks. For the reason above. Plus it

worked �. Declarer had ®AQxx opposite ®Jxx

in hand and the club lead set up a ruff for the

setting trick (partner had the ™A).

Pairs Bonus: ®10 or ™10 - 5 marks. I would lead

the same I suppose, but I think it is very, very

close between that and the passive ™10. I have no

complaints with anyone who leads that. r

Choose from: (a) ´A; (b) ™10; (c) t10; (d) ®10.

Hand 3

´ A 9 7 6 4 3

™ 10 9 5

t 10 2

® 10 5

South West North East

Pass Pass

2NT Pass 3t1 Pass

3™ Pass 4™ All Pass

1 Transfer to hearts

A slightly curious auction in that North seems to

have six hearts but passed as dealer. N/S were

vulnerable on the hand, so it is likely North did not

have a suit good enough to open 2™.

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