Page 0021

West North East South

1™

Pass 1´ Pass 1NT

Pass 2t1 Pass 2™2

Pass 4™ All Pass

1 Game-forcing enquiry; 2 Five hearts.

Pick your lead out of: (a) a spade; (b) ™5; (c)

t4; (d) ®2.

On different layouts anything could be right.

What is best?

(a) A spade: 10 marks. With declarer holding

a balanced hand and dummy possibly being

interested in a 5-3 spade fit, it is entirely

possible that partner is very short in spades. So

if you lead one you may be able to give partner

a ruff when you get in with the ™K. This is

what happened and was the only lead to beat

the contract (well, partner could win his ace

and switch to his singleton). This well reasoned

lead was found by Manchester player Annie

Thornton playing against me in the Gazette

Trophy qualifier for Manchester.

(b) A heart: 1 mark. All I can say is why? One

mark for imagination.

(c) t4: 5 marks. Declarer is balanced and often

dummy will be fairly balanced. There fore

leading a diamond could be wrong in all sorts

of ways, so I do not like this lead much.

(d) ®2: 7 marks. An attempt to set up any tricks

you may have in the minors without, you hope,

blowing a trick in the suit. But it may well carve

up partner's hold ing so it is not guaranteed.

Hand 1

´ 9 8 6 3 2

™ K 5

t K 8 4

® 10 7 2

West North East South

1™ Pass 1´

Pass 2® Pass 3NT

All Pass

Pick your lead out of: (a) ´4; (b) a heart; (c)

tK;(d) ®9.

(a) ´4: 3 marks. Fourth highest of your longest

and strongest. But it is straight round into

declarer's suit and even if you can set the suit

up, it is not easy for you get in and cash it. This

is far more likely simply to be giving a trick

away.

(b) A heart: 3 marks. This is as bad. Why are

you leading dummy's five-card suit (at least)

particularly when you have no chance at all of

setting up any tricks in it that were not coming

to partner already?

(c) tK: 5 marks. Yes, OK, to beat this con tract

you are going to need to find partner with a lot

of tricks and diamonds are the unbid suit. But

is it really likely that partner will have

diamonds good enough that you need to do

this? Still, I would rather lead this than either

major. But I would much rather lead this:

(d) ®9: 10 marks. It is often right to lead

dummy's second suit against no-trumps,

particularly if you don't have an attractive

fourth-suit lead. The opponents have not

tried to play in this suit, so it is possible

partner has a few. It combines some attempt

to set up tricks with less danger of blowing

tricks.

Hand 2

´ K 10 7 4 2

™ 6 4 3 2

t K 2

® 9 5

West North East South

1´ Pass 2®

Pass 2™ Pass 3t1

Pass 4® Pass 4™

Pass 6® All Pass

1 Fourth Suit Forcing

Pick your lead out of: (a) ´3; (b) ™8; (c) tA;

(d) a club.

This hand was sent to me by reader John

Liebeschuetz and I am grateful to him for an

excellent problem. The opposition bidding has

been revealing and we can be certain that

opener has a 5-4-1-3 shape or something very

similar and that responder has a game-forcing

hand with a high heart card. What can we do to

beat this slam?

(a) ´3: 3 marks. An attempt to give partner a

ruff. But it is quite likely that it is declarer that is

short in spades and this may allow him a finesse

at no cost. It is thus dangerous in several ways.

(b) ™8: 10 marks. Often when you know

dummy is short in a suit it is right to lead trumps

to cut down the ruffs. Leading your singleton

threatens a ruff, forcing declarer to draw trumps

and so ruin his own ruffs. The only time this will

not work is if declarer has the tK as then you

cannot get partner on lead to give you the ruff.

This easily looks the best chance though.

(c) tA: 2 marks. While I am a huge fan of

leading aces against slams here all the

indications are that it is the wrong thing to do.

It is very likely declarer will want to ruff

diamonds so why help? It is also unlikely that

declarer will have enough pitches on dummy to

discard all the diamonds from her hand

(obviously the singleton cannot be discarded

from dummy) and if she does then I cannot see

you beating the hand anyway.

(d) A club: 7 marks. This is what I would have

led if I had not had a singleton. Try and cut

down the ruffs. When you come in with the tA

you can lead another trump and there will be

only one diamond ruff. Alas, declarer had five

club tricks, four heart tricks and the ´A-K so

only needed one diamond ruff. So only the ™8

lead beat the slam this time. r

Hand 3

´ Q 10 4 3 2

™ 8

t A J 8 5

® 10 7 6

22 English Bridge August 2014 www.ebu.co.uk

by Alan Mould

Prize Leads Quiz

Answers to June 2014 Problems

click

link

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS:

Master: Stewart Harrison, Open: Geoff Foster,

Gloucester Cheltenham

Sponsored by

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