Details for Daily Bridge

Bridge By Phillip Alder
♠

♥
♦
♣

the partnership suit changes the lead

Dealer: West
Vulnerable: East-West

North
04-16-19
♠AJ8
♥72
♦Q54
♣ A K 10 6 3
West
♠932
♥ A J 10 8 5
♦ A J 10
♣QJ

East
♠65
♥Q943
♦K972
♣872

South
♠ K Q 10 7 4
♥K6
♦863
♣954
South
3♠

West
1♥
Pass

North
Dbl.
4♠

East
3♥
All Pass

Opening lead: ??
Yesterday, I mentioned that if
you are on opening lead with the ace
and king in a suit both you and your
partner bid, you lead the king, not the
ace.
I had never heard about this
until it was mentioned to me by Steve
Conrad of Manhasset, Long Island.
But it is an excellent idea, primarily because this is a situation when
starting with an unsupported ace is
COPYRIGHT: 2019, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

likely. As an example, look only at
the West hand. What would you lead
against four spades after the given
auction? What happens after that?
East’s jump to three hearts was
pre-emptive, showing four trumps
and a weak hand. (With at least
game-invitational values, he would
have responded two no-trump, the
Truscott convention that is often
called Jordan.) North’s raise to four
spades was aggressive.
West has an unclear lead. Some
would choose the club queen, but
declarer then takes the first 10 tricks.
Suppose West selects the heart ace.
If that promises the ace and the king,
East will encourage because he has
the queen. However, since both East
and West bid hearts, West’s ace-lead
denies the king. So, East discourages
with his heart three.
Now West sees only one
chance. He should shift to the diamond jack! Here, that allows the
defenders to take the first four tricks.
Why not cash the diamond
ace (denying the king) at trick two?
Because after East encourages with
the nine, West continues with the
diamond jack, and dummy plays low,
East might think West started with
only two diamonds. If so, East must
overtake with his king and give his
partner a ruff.

Tues., 4/16

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