The Doctor's Consultation: by Dr. Iain Corness
Dr Michael Moreton from Bangkok
Hospital read an article I wrote a couple of weeks ago explaining ‘generic’
and ‘brand name’ drugs, and suggested I should expand into counterfeit
drugs. Thanks, Mike. Happy to oblige a colleague.
Every day I receive spam, offering me the opportunity to keep a battalion of
beauties satisfied. These are the internet email offers of cut-price drugs
that will keep me in a state of perpetual priapism, a continuing (and
painful) male erection and the term was coined after the Greek god Priapus
who is shown in paintings to have a central member like a third leg.
Offers like these which are too good to be true, are usually just that - too
good to be true! These cut-price drugs are not the real deal. The chances
are very high that they are counterfeit.
One of the patients showed me a box purporting to be genuine brand name
Cialis tablets, which were not having the desired effect. I was immediately
suspicious as the box was not all that well printed. I was quite sure they
were counterfeit when I read the Patient Information slip. The English
grammar was incorrect, and there were spelling mistakes. Eli Lilly, the
‘real’ manufacturer does not send out mis-spelled literature with their
Eli Lilly’s website on Cialis confirms that some web sites sell fake Cialis.
The website suggests you ask yourself these questions; any “yes” answers
could mean that the Cialis being sold may be fake:
Is the price so much lower than the price at the local pharmacy that it
seems too good to be true?
Is the web site located outside of the United States, or does it not list an
address or contact information?
Does the site offer to sell medicine without a doctor’s prescription?
Were you referred to the web site by an e-mail that you did not ask for?
(Eli Lilly and Company, the maker of Cialis, does not send e-mails unless
you ask for them.)
Does the site offer “soft tab” or “fast dissolve” Cialis? (Cialis only comes
in tablets. There is no such thing as “soft tab” or “fast dissolve” Cialis.)
Does the site offer “generic Cialis” or a drug with a name that is similar
to Cialis? (Such products have not have been evaluated by the FDA for safety
and effectiveness - they could be harmful.)
The World Health Organization puts the annual amount of counterfeit drugs
sales at something like $35-40 billion per year. No wonder I (and you) get
so many offers of drugs through the internet. That’s a very large pie.
The World Health Organization also estimates that one in three drugs on the
worldwide market today is counterfeit. Sometimes the fake drugs contain
toxic substances from which you can die.
Pfizer’s laboratories analyze the fakes and a representative stated, “We’ve
seen boric acid, we’ve seen heavy metals, we’ve seen road paint, we’ve also
seen floor wax to coat the pills and give them a shine. Obviously, they are
detrimental to anyone’s health.”
It is not just Eli Lilly that is targeted. Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer (yes
chaps, the makers of the blue diamonds) estimates its annual losses to
counterfeit drug sales at $2 billion.
However, this is actually a serious situation. If specific drugs are only
available through pharmacies, on the prescription of a doctor, is it safe to
just buy over the internet, without any doctor’s advice?
The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says, “Patients who buy
prescription drugs from websites operating outside the law are at increased
risk of suffering life-threatening adverse events, such as side effects from
inappropriately prescribed medications, dangerous drug interactions,
contaminated drugs, and impure or unknown ingredients found in unapproved
According to WHO, drugs commonly counterfeited include antibiotics,
antimalarials, hormones and steroids. Increasingly, anticancer and antiviral
drugs are also faked. And you can add to that, the ‘blue diamonds’. Never
forget the phrase “Caveat emptor” (Let the buyer beware).
If you receive a spam email from someone who you don’t know, offering you
specific pharmaceuticals at a cheap price, that should be enough for you to
go no further. Get your medications on a doctor’s prescription from a
pharmacy you can trust. Or suffer the consequences.
Heart to Heart
Bonjour, pour tu, chocolate de Suisse! Formidable, oui/non? Au revoir et
I just gotta love you! A couple of letters complaining about you and you
respond with protestations of love, and all in French, with the Swiss
chocolates enclosed. Yes, mon petit chou, vous est formidable aussi. Bon
With reference to a paragraph I read in your reply to a reader in the
column early February: “Now one of the things you have to do to get over
“klmitis” is to give up on your current carrier and fly THAI instead.
They need the money. But then again, so do we all.”
I had read previously, either in your own esteemed newspaper or from
another source, that in an effort to promote tourism to Thailand during
this economic downturn that Thai Airways International had made a
decision to discount its flight prices by up to 50 percent in an effort
to help boost the declining Thai tourist trade. This news, not only had
been announced by Thai Airways but also by the TAT I believe.
Very good news one would think, cuts in prices, will help both Thai
Airways to attract more customers both to the airline and to Thailand,
to help in these difficult times of declining tourism.
I have been considering returning to Thailand during Songkran and
checked flight prices for 4th April and returning either on Saturday the
25th of April or the early hours of Sunday the 26th of April.
I set about checking my usual flight sites and airlines and returned
with an excellent price of 486 sterling (even better now as my currency
is the euro and the exchange rate is very favourable to me at present)
with Emirate Airlines.
Having remembered the article about the Thai Airways discount, I checked
the flight prices on Thai Airways site. This site returned a staggering
price for the same dates of 3,663.30 sterling or at today’s Bangkok Bank
exchange rate 184,520 Thai baht.
I fear that your wish above “fly THAI instead. They need the money,”
will not be fulfilled by farangs travelling to Thailand and Thai Airways
will continue to “need the money”.
My query is, when Thai officials announce these news items (for this and
other things), do they ever actually carry through on the announcements?
Is it the case that Thai Airways first double the prices, before then
giving the 50 percent discount, which still leaves the airlines charging
their exorbitant rates, even at half price?
P.S: I like reading your article each week, I prefer your answers to the
letters, rather than the letters themselves, as many of your writers
seem to be endlessly complaining about everything. In that light, I hope
I don’t come across as yet another whingeing windbag. I have also
attached the flight details from Thai Airways website in case you find
the rates I have quoted difficult to believe. I selected economy class,
but for some reason Thai Airways have only quoted business class?
Joe the Irishman
Dear Joe the Irishman,
Thank you for the nice words, Petal. Now, your problem. I checked with
my friendly travel agent (Massic Travel - free plug) and the THAI deal
is two fly for the price of one, worked out on the full fare price,
which is 185,000 THB (or then 92,500 THB each). However, nobody buys
tickets at that price, as you can get it cheaper by shopping around for
the “market fare”. You would be able to get a THAI flight much cheaper
shopping around in the UK, but currently the Middle East airlines are
offering the best rates. Does that explain it all for you? It seems that
there are lies, damned lies, statistics and air fares!
I have heard about golfing widows, but at least golf is played in the
daytime, so the golfing husbands are home in the evenings. My problem is
that I am turning into a football widow. Football matches seem to be
played at any time of the day (or night) and he is always off to some
pub or other to watch the game. I am not interested in football, or else
I’d go with him, but I am getting lonely left at home. What should I do?
Tell him it is football or me? (I’m afraid he might go for the
Dear Footy Widow,
If you make life difficult for your football mad mate, then he will go
for the football and it will be an ‘away’ game every night. Men will
always take the easy way out, when pushed into a corner. They have no
real goals in life, you see. Before you get right cross and relegated to
Left Right Out, I would ask around to see if any of his football
watching mate’s wives would like to come over for a hen session. Even if
you are not interested, a night out at the pub might also be fun. Let
him watch while you gossip with the other women there. That is much
better for everyone, rather than sitting fuming at home, while plotting
how to give your man a red card.
by Harry Flashman
Is a tripod worth it?
one piece of equipment that distinguishes between the amateur
photographer and the semi-pro amateur is the tripod. But by that
I mean a good tripod. I see many photographers toting a
lightweight aluminium tripod that will blow away in the
slightest breeze, and therefore quite useless for what you
bought a tripod to do. Do not buy one of these.
The use of the tripod opens up new avenues for the serious
photographer, and the least (but most obvious) is to take time
exposure shots at night. Unbolt the hot-shoe flash, disable the
inbuilt flash and see what you can get. Estimate exposure times
and see what you get. With a digital camera, you don’t have to
wait long. Trying to hold the camera still while you take shots
at slower than 1/15 second just will not work, despite all the
image stabilization technology.
Twilight photography and night photography opens up a whole new
range of pictures and effects. Just the simple expedient of
being able to keep the camera steady while you shoot 30 second
or longer exposures will result in some great photographs. Try
taking a shot just after sunset, for example. Set the camera on
f11 and give it 30 seconds. You will be very pleased with the
results. However, if it is too dark, give it 60 seconds - too
bright then try 15 seconds. It costs you nothing to experiment.
Use the tripod in daylight too. Did you know that the very best
landscapes during daylight hours are also best taken on a
tripod? To get the huge range of depth of field necessary for
these shots, you will end up with slow shutter speeds. The
tripod ensures there’s no blurring. Those flowing milky, misty
waterfalls are also best taken with a tripod as again a slow
shutter speed is required to capture that effect.
Even nature shots are done best with this piece of equipment.
You can set up the camera and then leave it, so that the birds,
etc., can get used to its presence, and then with a cable or
remote shutter release you can get the nature photos of a
Another type of shot that needs a tripod is the panorama. A
compilation of images which when placed together form a wide
angle view of any scene. This can only be done with the use of a
Even when shooting still life images, the use of a tripod makes
these shots a breeze. You can set up the shot and then make
minute adjustments while looking through the viewfinder. Again
you can use a slow shutter speed to be able to use very small
apertures (around f22) to get the very fine detail into the
So what should you look for and what should you spend? There are
several items in the specifications that you should ensure is on
any tripod you buy. The first is that it is heavy with strong
legs when extended fully. The “locks” on the legs must also be
Another item is that the actual swivel head incorporates a
spirit level, so that you can ensure the top swivels in a true
horizontal arc. The tripod head should also have calibrations,
so you can swing it a definite number of degrees. A removable
“shoe” is also a good item, as you can then position the camera
on the tripod, but also remove the camera to take other shots
but then replace it in exactly the same position.
The legs should be able to be spread out widely so that you can
get the camera very close to the ground, and finally if you can
get one, see if the tripod shaft can be removed and turned
upside down, as this can get your camera completely at ground
level and also immediately above an object placed on the ground.
How much will this cost? Expect to spend a minimum of 6000 baht.
My own Manfrotto cost a lot more than that, let me assure you,
but with now almost 20 years of faithful service, it has been a
Money Matters: Paul Gambles
MBMG International Ltd.
Not all funds let you down, part 3
Exposure levels for the Fund
are set out below:
|(% of NAV)
||(% of NAV)
||(% of NAV)
||(% of NAV)
Several caveats are needed to
the fairly negative conclusion that there is no obvious way out of current
difficulties, either from a policy or a market-driven perspective.
Firstly, valuations are very reasonable in equity markets. It is worth recalling
that if the FTSE 100 finished next year at current levels, this would equate to
a 30% loss over the decade as a whole. This is a performance which must give
some protection to current investors from the poor news flow.
Moreover, we are strong believers in the view that asset class cycles tend to
move in a cycle from bull market to bear market to indifference to bull market
again. Critical to this insight is the fact that it is the indifference period
(and consequent lack of new supply) that precedes bull markets, not the dramatic
falls in price of the bear market. Commodities are illustrating this point at
present, with the multi-year indifference of investors to the asset class now
leading to the supply constraints and price momentum being seen. Interpreting
this to the current period would suggest that as and when conditions do improve
it will be equity-oriented assets that generate the disproportionate upside,
rather than the fixed-income areas often seen as ‘recovery plays’.
But the key note remains uncertainty. “Our assessment is not one we feel immense
confidence behind. It is perfectly possible that a solution we (and
policy-makers) are yet to discover is found or that the equilibrium price is
closer to levels than we think (most probably because demand destruction in oil
is greater than we see). We obviously have to remain vigilant to each of these
“Even if we are right that policy will ultimately struggle to solve the broad
problem this does not stop it having a material impact on the environment for
capital markets. Most obviously, should policy-makers seek to aggressively cut
economic demand the outlook for commodity shares will be very different than if
they are willing to risk inflation in the interests of the banking system. With
policy at something of an inflection point it is critical we understand this
influence in forming portfolio structure in the near-term.”
[Reminder: All quotes in this article are from Lansdowne UK Equity Fund, the
largest holding in the Turnstone European fund, which along with Orbis,
Berkshire Hathaway and GAA makes up the majority of our equity exposure right
So what is their portfolio approach?
1. “Overall fund structure needs to be simple and flexible. The low
and stable net exposure we have run for the last few months still feels an
appropriate reflection of current conditions and, critically, has worked well.”
2. “Compared to 2007, it is pretty clear both that overall economic growth
levels are open to question and that the challenges for the world are global
rather than concentrated into Anglo-Saxon consumption. To reflect this in the
portfolio, we have added hedging positions exposed to global growth to balance
our long position in the Mining sector.”
3. “On the short positions, we have continued to size positions with reference
to valuation rather than momentum. While this risks some opportunity cost in the
current market it should protect us during the inevitable squeezes that occur.”
4. “In terms of thematic bets we feel very uncomfortable taking a view on the
But it remains a difficult environment.
“We are somewhat nervous in the very short-term as we suspect we are approaching
a period in which investors seek to positions of outlook, a period that often
yields dislocation for the portfolio. Nonetheless we feel that such risk is
worth bearing given the strength of both the overall structure and individual
All sounds very re-assuring; what could go wrong?
“As noted above we have tried hard to construct a portfolio where thematic risks
are limited given the uncertainty in the situation. The main exception to this
is in our view that credit costs will remain elevated to a degree not reflected
in several areas. As such the most difficult scenario for the Fund would
probably be one in which falling oil prices were deemed to lessen the pressure
on inflation and therefore yields. How bad such a scenario would hinge on the
interpretation of the market of such a move on our key long positions in Mining
and the Post Offices. If they were viewed as negatively correlated to oil prices
in the manner seen last month then losses should be containable to around 2% of
NAV. In the plausible scenario that such a view was not immediately formed,
losses could be higher at around 4% of NAV (albeit we would hope that the
incremental loss would be recovered in subsequent periods).
Elsewhere the main risk in the short-term feels to us that market dislocations
are caused by investors reacting to increased uncertainty position-reduction. As
we have noted before such periods tend to be difficult for the Fund and may be
particularly so at present given the good performance in the second quarter. The
profit-taking we have done on the short side should offer some protection
against it but there is no doubt that a 3-4% loss could be sustained from this
and, indeed, that it could be higher given how difficult such conditions are to
More manageable and a better risk/reward outlook than unprotected equity
exposure, “Despite this uncertainty we remain of the view that the long-term
value in the positions is very good and are therefore happy to bear some
So, are we? Yes but our preferred method of exposure in this extremely
successful but highly specialized fund is through the Iridium portfolio and our
long-short equity partners Turnstone Asset Management.
Lansdowne UK Equity Fund
FT-SE All-Share Price Index GP
The above data and research was compiled from
sources believed to be reliable. However, neither MBMG International Ltd
nor its officers can accept any liability for any errors or omissions in
the above article nor bear any responsibility for any losses achieved as
a result of any actions taken or not taken as a consequence of reading
the above article. For more information please contact Paul Gambles on
Life in Chiang Mai:
by Mark Whitman
And where were you on the evening of February 17?
Along with a few farangs and a goodly number of Thais, I
took a chance a few days ago and went to a simply advertised concert at
Payap on Friday, February 13. Before arriving, I’d said to my companion,
‘Well, if it’s not very good, we can always make a discreet exit during the
Believe me, a few minutes into this recital for ‘a guitar and voice’ by the
young performer, no thoughts of an early departure or dinner were
entertained. Sakdipon began with a short group of pieces for classical
guitar, which he began studying at 17 and continued more recently with that
fine player and teacher Alessio Monti. There was evidence of this in the
choice of repertoire. Three works by Barrios, a popular suite by Villa-Lobos
and a superb finale with a composition by the great Leo Brouwer. No
flashiness here, but a concentration on the music, played with delicate
After the interval, we were treated to a ‘different’ performer. Sakdipon,
dressed in black suit, confidently took centre stage of the Duriyasilp Hall
and launched into ‘Broken Vows’ by the pop singer Lara Fabian, followed by a
duet with a charming soprano, Jutaporn Chalin, whose voice complimented his
A Gershwin classic, ‘A Foggy Day ‘and Cole Porter’s ‘Anything Goes’ and, for
an encore, the rather dated, ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ completed the
evening. Skilful accompaniment on piano by ajarn Rangsan Poonsub was a
pleasure throughout but it did not stop me wondering whether, perhaps on the
encore, the singer had ever considered accompanying himself on guitar.
Let me say at once that this was an enchanting evening, with a performer who
was confident but who showed no signs of ego or arrogance. He has talent,
charm and good looks and could and should go far in his chosen fields. At
the risk of being hypercritical or ‘nit-picking’ I think he might benefit
from attention to his choice of material, especially in selections from what
we oldies know as the ‘great American songbook.’
Let’s take the Porter song as an example. He was arguably the greatest
composer-lyricist of them all. Others wrote better songs (Gershwin among
them), certainly Lorenz Hart’s lyrics are even wittier, more poetic and
poignant. But they had others to provide the words and music. Porter was
master of both, a wealthy socialite, a gay cynic, a sophisticate of high
intelligence and great ambition. The lyrics of ‘Anything Goes’ reflect much
of the above: ‘writers who once knew better words, now only use four letter
words, writing prose,’ (to rhyme with anything goes). It’s a commentary on a
period, a critique and lament for a bygone world of elegance made famous by
the likes of Ethel Merman.
Similarly the Gershwin brothers’ ‘A Foggy Day,’ (made immortal by Sinatra)
is more a song for a world-weary guy, a traveller, who views the morning
with alarm, ‘the British Museum had lost its charm,’ when made ‘low’ by a
foggy day in London town. It’s great that, now we no longer have Sinatra,
Ella or Dick Haymes et al, that their legacy lives on. But there are plenty
of good, even great songs, more suited to a young singer.
I offer just a few, including Gershwin’s charming and more accessible, ‘I’ve
Got a Crush on You.’ Or Hoagy Carmichael’s wistful ‘Skylark.’ Lennon and
McCartney’s ‘Michele,’ or the jaunty ‘I Like the Likes of You’ by ‘Yip’
Harburg. And maybe the Bacharach and David ‘This Guy’s in Love with You’ or
from a similar period ‘Love Hurts’ by Boudreaux Brigant? All good songs,
intended perhaps for those who know what love is, but who don’t yet know the
meaning of the blues. Songs need to be more than sung, they require
interpretation and to suit the performer. This is not intended as a
criticism of the evening, but as an observation.
Just a few days after our talented young singer held the fort so well at
Payap, the nearby Luce Chapel on the same campus was home to no less than a
hundred youthful performers, representing not one band but two. The
Symphonic Band Concert Tour by the Bangkok group reached Chiang Mai and was,
for one night only, augmented by our own Youth Symphonic Band, for the
second part of the concert. They filled the large stage to near capacity and
the only sad part about this enjoyable evening was the comparatively sparse
audience which barely outnumbered the players.
What possible excuse can there be for the seeming indifference to
enthusiastic, talented and energetic performers? There should – by rights –
have been a notice saying standing room only. The music was accessible (a
tad predictable perhaps), ranging from Le Roy Anderson to movie music, from
a Percy Grainger folk song arrangement to Wagner, and from a composition
from H.M. the King to sturdy marches and the charming Londonderry Air. Add
to that the fact that admission was free, and there was simply no excuse for
anything less than a full house to encourage both visitors and the local
players. There are, reportedly, some 17,000 farangs in Chiang Mai and the
overall population makes it the second biggest city in Thailand. Where are
you when you are needed? Asleep in front of the goggle box? Propping up a
bar? Or simply too bone idle to care whether the cultural and social life of
Chiang Mai lives or dies?
Let's Go To The Movies: :
Now playing in Chiang Mai
Valkyrie: US/ Germany Drama/ History/ Thriller/ War – The
near-miss assassination of Adolf Hitler by a ring of rebel German army
officers on July 20, 1944, starring a restrained and excellent Tom Cruise as
Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, the aristocratic German officer who led the
heroic attempt (codenamed “Valkyrie”) to bring down the Nazi regime and end
the war by planting a bomb in Hitler’s bunker. Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men,
Superman Returns). I was impressed by the supporting cast that
includes Bill Nighy (fresh from his chores as lead vampire in Underworld:
Rise of the Lycans), Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp, and Kenneth Branagh.
Actually, I think the less you know about the details as you go in the more
interesting it will be. A well-crafted, thinking-person’s action movie.
Mixed or average reviews.
Luang Pee Kub Phee Ka Noon: Thai Comedy – A swindler hides out in a
monastery by becoming a monk. With the popular Mum Jokmok and the usual
stable of TV comedians.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: US Drama/ Fantasy/ Mystery/ Romance
– with Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton. Nominated for thirteen
Academy Awards, including best picture and best director. It’s the tale of
a man born elderly in 1918, who ages backwards through the 20th century. I
don’t see how anyone can really like this, but I seem to be in the
minority. But really, it’s so utterly nonsensical! Great makeup! Great
set decoration! Great period detail! Worth seeing for those alone!
Perhaps Benjamin Button is the big-budget love story with just the
right combination of qualities (nostalgic Americana, epic romance) that the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences routinely admires. By the time
you read this, you will know. Generally favorable reviews.
My Bloody Valentine 3D: US Horror/ Thriller – It’s an unpretentious gory
and senses-assaulting slasher film, and an effective mix of old-school
horror stylings and modern 3D technology. I’ve seen the 3D version in
Bangkok, and the effects are good. It’s a shame that we only get ordinary
old 2D here in Chiang Mai. Rated R in the US for “graphic brutal horror
violence and grisly images throughout, some strong sexuality, graphic
nudity, and language.” Mixed or average reviews.
A Moment in June: Thai Drama/ Romance – Directed by O. Nathapon, who is
also active in theater and draws on his theater experience to devise a
crossover of cinema and stage through a play-within-a-film. Three couples –
gay, elderly, and fictional – engage in a melancholy dance of indecision and
Push: US Action/ Thriller. The deadly world of “psychic espionage” where
artificially enhanced paranormal operatives have the ability to move objects
with their minds, see the future, create new realities, and kill without
ever touching their victims. Extraordinarily convoluted and confusing, but
very stylish and with great visual design.
Confessions of a Shopaholic: US Comedy. Nonsense wherein Isla Fisher
plays a fun-loving girl who is really good at shopping. An
outrageously obscene gesture and the most ill-timed and appallingly
insulting movie in recent memory as the economy continues to swallow up
livelihoods, homes, and hope – as this ditz shops!
Underworld: Rise of the Lycans: US Action/ Fantasy/ Horror/ Thriller –
The origins of the centuries-old blood feud between the vampires and their
onetime slaves, the Lycans. Michael Sheen (Tony Blair in The Queen)
as the werewolf and Bill Nighy (Davy Jones in the Pirates of the
Caribbean movies) as the aristocratic vampire. Rated R in the US for
bloody violence and some sexuality. Mixed or average reviews.
Before Valentine: Thai Romance/ Drama. Four takes on love, made by three
Thai directors, and I thought the results pretty dreadful. If you’re of a
Thai mentality, you might consider this a charming and harmless essay on
adolescent love (even if some of the characters happen to be adults). If
you’re of a Western mentality, you might consider this blatant brainwashing
of Thais to accept western consumerism. The idea being that you have to
show your “love” on Valentine’s Day by buying your beloved many flowers and
much candy and several greeting cards, and by eating out at restaurants way
over your means, and buying your girl a diamond ring. The film is sponsored
by a floral outfit (Miss Lilly Flowers), a restaurant chain (Chester’s), and
so on, with much painful and insulting product placement. For me the film
has really dippy music, dippy dialogue, dippy situations, and dippy
Scheduled for Feb 26
Slumdog Millionaire: US/UK Crime/ Drama/ Romance – Improbably
nominated for Oscar best picture and best director – and eight other
awards. Scheduled for Feb. 26 for Thailand, but at the present time not to
be shown in Chiang Mai; Bangkok and Pattaya only. But we can hope!
Other Oscar films we won’t see: Milk, Doubt, The Wrestler, The
Reader, Frost/Nixon. I urge you to revolt! Or at least write
them some messages!
Bridge in Paradise :
by Neil Robinson
Last week, I asked the question when is it right to lead a trump as the
opening lead? I gave an example of the number one good reason for leading a
trump: to cut down dummy’s ruffing power when dummy is short in one of
declarer’s long suits. Another good reason is when your side has a strong
trump stack. Note that when the defence has a stack of low trumps the
forcing defence (see the columns on 27 Jan and 3 Feb) is usually better than
leading trumps, to try and force declarer to ruff and thus reduce declarer’s
trump holding to less than the defence. With long, high trumps
however, double and lead them. Take this example, from expert player and
author Mike Lawrence, with East dealing and neither side vulnerable:
East South West North
1H 1S 2H 2S
Dbl All pass
The full deal is shown below:
S: 7 S: KQJ10
H: J75 H: A10863
D: QJ832 D: 94
C: KJ64 C: A7
After the double, West looks
at his singleton trump and knows East must have long trumps. Since East is
willing to risk a two level double – which doubles the opponents into game
if they make it – West expects that East’s trumps must also be strong. So
West leads a trump. Now East-West are bound to make seven tricks – three
high trumps, two heart tricks (since dummy’s trumps will be pulled by East
before a heart can be ruffed) and the ace and king of clubs. The trump lead
causes the contract to go down two doubled, for a nice profit for East-West.
Please send me your interesting hands at: [email protected]