Join Bridge Winners
General Principles
(Page of 4)

Playing IMPs, you hold:

West
J943
K976
82
KQ9
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner passes, and the opponents conduct a simple 1NT - 3NT auction.

What is your opening lead?

Déjà vu time. You hold:

West
J943
K976
82
KQ9
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

This time your opponents have a Stayman auction to 3NT.

What do you lead?

Once more. You hold:

North
K82
A543
KQ3
1082
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
?

Partner opens 1NT. What's your bidding plan?

The full deal:

West
J943
K976
82
KQ9
North
K82
A543
KQ3
1082
East
65
Q102
J764
7643
South
AQ107
J8
A1095
AJ5
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

At both tables, North more or less concealed his major holdings. At one table, he jumped straight to 3NT. At the other, he bid 2NT, Puppet Stayman, and bid 3NT when partner denied a 5-card major.

Both Wests led the 6, the only suit that isn't immediately fatal. Both declarers took the third round of hearts and cashed the top spades and diamonds. When neither behaved, they were down one for a push.

 

This fairly mundane deal interested me for two reasons:

First, my partner, Anam Tebha, who semi-jokingly says she hates leading fourth-best,* did it anyway, and it was the only winning lead. After the play concluded, I suggested that maybe fourth-best leads aren't so bad after all.

Second, even though, in my opinion, it is completely normal to ignore the hearts, today it likely would have been more successful to investigate the 4-4 fit. Would you lead a heart when you knew LHO had four of them? I know I wouldn't.

 

*Really, she doesn't like leading from 4-card suits against 3NT, which is the same philosophy that Kit Woolsey advocates: leading and establishing a 4-card suit won't beat 3NT outright, so lead the 5-card suit; if not yours, look for partner's.

93 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top