Details for CITIZEN PROMOS/FILLERS - Ad from 2021-05-01

Bridge

♠
♥
♦
♣

By Phillip Alder

the lead that is easily overlooked

Dealer: South
Vulnerable: East-West
North
05-01-21
♠K96
♥ Q J 10
♦ Q J 10 8 5
♣KQ
West
♠ Q 10 7
♥72
♦7632
♣ A 10 8 5

East
♠J8543
♥A64
♦ -♣J9742

South
♠A2
♥K9853
♦AK94
♣63
South
1♥
3♦

West
Pass
Pass

North
2♦
4♥

East
Pass
All Pass

Opening lead: ??
To start today, have a look at
the West hand. West’s right-hand
opponent (RHO) opens one heart. His
LHO responds two diamonds. RHO
raises to three diamonds. Then LHO
jumps to four hearts. What should
West lead? Why? (Don’t you just dislike that second question!)
In general, don’t lead a suit bid
by an opponent. Why play straight
into their strength? However, as
COPYRIGHT: 2021, UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE

with all “rules” in bridge, there are
exceptions. You might have K-QJ-10-9, or a similar, very strong
holding. There is also the reason for
today’s lead.
West should select the diamond two. (It isn’t vital here, but
why not try always to find the best
play?)
When North responded in the
suit directly under his partner’s, he
promised at least a five-card suit.
(With only four diamonds, he would
usually have bid another four-card
suit or responded in no-trump
or raised partner’s suit.) South’s
diamond raise guaranteed at least
three-card support. Therefore, from
West’s perspective, East has at
most a singleton diamond.
Also, when giving partner a
ruff, a defender is supposed to send
a suit-preference signal with the
card led, to tell him where leader’s
re-entry lies. So, instead of starting
with the “textbook” diamond seven,
West should choose the two, the
lowest card asking for a club return.
Here, after East ruffs at trick
one, he can return a club to West’s
ace and receive a second diamond
ruff. Later, the heart ace defeats the
contract.
This lead isn’t hard to find if
you listen to and analyze the bidding.

Sat., 5/1

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