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Bridge in Paradise: by Neil Robinson
 

The last two columns have been examples of when is it right to lead a trump as the opening lead. The number one good reason for leading a trump is 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 holds long high trumps in one of the defender’s hands. A third good reason to consider leading a trump is when the other side is sacrificing. The reason is the same as number one: declarer is probably counting on ruffing in dummy to reduce losses. Leading a trump obviously does not work if both dummy and declarer have long trump suits, because then it is impossible to pull dummy’s trumps. So, it is only a good lead when you think from the bidding that dummy has comparatively few trumps. Take this example, with South dealing and only E-W vulnerable:



E-W can make four spades, and would score 620 if N-S had not sacrificed. Getting N-S down three doubled for 500 points is not enough. The defence must get them down four, for 800 points, to make a profit. At Table 1, West makes the “obvious” lead of the diamond king and then switches to a trump after seeing dummy. Declarer will win and lead another diamond. Assume East wins and leads another trump (nothing is better at this stage). Declarer takes eight tricks—six clubs, the ace of hearts and a diamond ruff. Down only three, for a profitable non-vulnerable sacrifice by N-S.
At Table 2, West listens to the bidding and knows from the 3C bid that South has the length in trumps. He hopes that North’s trumps are much shorter, so he leads his singleton. Declarer wins and leads diamonds to try for a ruff on board. Each time East wins the trick and leads back another trump. Declarer never gets a ruff on board and can only take seven tricks. The trump opening lead causes the contract to go down four doubled, for 800 points and 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 web site www.bridgewebs.com/chiangmai


 
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Bridge in Paradise