You are West and you hear this bidding
(South deals, EW vulnerable):
What do you lead? Some players might try
the “safe” lead of the diamond jack. You, of course, think about the bidding
first, before leading anything. 1N by South indicates 15-17 points. 2C
(Stayman) shows that North has at least one four card major. 2S by South
shows four spades (and denies four hearts). 2N by North shows his four card
suit was hearts and indicates 8 or 9 points—inviting to 3N. South accepts
the invitation, so should have 16 or 17 points. Thus, NS are marginal for
making game, with about 25 points in total. You have 3 points, so your
partner must have about 12 points. Since your partner has the points, you
want to find his suit, rather than trying to set up yours.
But what is your partner’s suit? North has four hearts and South has two or
three. Since you have only two hearts, your partner must have at least four,
maybe five. So, you lead the queen of hearts.
The full deal is:
Your partner overtakes your lead and
forces out the ace of hearts. Now, when he gets in with the ace of clubs, he
takes the rest of his heart tricks. The contract goes down one—and your
partner is delighted with your play!
Now watch what happens if you lead the “safe” diamond jack. Declarer wins in
hand and then forces out the ace of clubs. Your partner gets in and leads
hearts, but it is too late. Declarer takes the ace of hearts, to add to his
three club tricks and four diamond tricks (by finessing you for the marked
ten), and the ace of spades, to make the contract. If necessary, or if
declarer is feeling really lucky, he can also take the spade finesse. On
today’s hand this gives him an overtrick. Your partner snarls at you!
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.