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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson

Last time 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 earlier columns) 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:

The full deal is shown below:

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.
I would like to hear from readers about their favourite hands—please do contact me at [email protected] Bridge Club of Chiang Mai welcomes all players. We have members from seventeen different countries already. For information on the Club go to the website

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Bridge in Paradise