By Valerie Rhead
OPENING LEADS – PART TWO – ACTIVE
There are two types of opening leads. Last week we looked at opening leads that were PASSIVE . With many hands, the best lead is PASSIVE. You don’t want your lead to give your opponents an extra trick if you can avoid it.
Sometimes though, if the opponent’s bidding has shown strength in a side suit, you should go ACTIVE in your opening lead. Usually, it can be risky to lead from a King, because it sometimes allows the opponents to make an extra trick with their Queen. However, leading from a King can result in an extra trick for you if your partner has an honour in that suit. With the type of hands where the opponent has a strong side suit, you sometimes have to take risks to develop winning tricks before the opponents have a chance to throw off losers on their strong side suit. These are known as ACTIVE leads. The point is that you give away tricks only when you have a chance of getting something in return.
A good ACTIVE opening lead is the Ace from Ace-King. This lead allows you to see the dummy and to get a signal from your partner while keeping control. Normally, you would not want to lead an Ace that is not part of a sequence, but in situations where the opponents have long suits (which would mean they also have short suits), you may want to cash an Ace before it can be ruffed. If the contract is in No Trump, you may not have a chance to cash those tricks before the opponents establish and run their long suits.
A singleton can be a strong ACTIVE lead in these hands even if it’s in a suit unbid by partner. There’s always a chance that he has a stray Ace in the suit and can return your lead for a ruff. Or perhaps he can get in later and return your lead before you have run out of trump. Or perhaps partner has some honours to cash later in a No-Trump contract. In some hands, any chance is worth taking with an ACTIVE lead.
Against No-Trump contracts a lead of the fourth card from your longest and strongest suit is a good choice if it appears that the suit might be developed. However, there are always exceptions in Bridge. I remember once, my partner was asked if our leads against the No-Trump contract were standard. Partner said “yes.” I led out the Ace of Spades which turned out to be a singleton. Our opponent grumbled “that wasn’t a standard lead”. I felt, however, that it was the best lead for that hand. As my Ace was a singleton and Spades hadn’t been bid, I figured that my partner would likely have some strength in Spades. I was unblocking so he would have a chance to use any high cards he had in the suit. I was right.
Standard leads are used when you feel a PASSIVE approach is best. If you want to be ACTIVE, your lead may be non-standard and the enemy just has to live with that! You are under no obligation to follow your agreement on leads after you have stated your agreement when asked.
Once the lead has been made, how do you respond when you get in. It’s a good idea always to keep your bridge partner happy. So, in the same way that you should lead your partner’s bid suit, unless you have something much better to lead back, you should make an effort to return partner’s lead. Otherwise, if you came to the game in partner’s car, you may find yourself walking home!
PLEASE NOTE that my email has changed. If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group, send the information to [email protected]gmail.com and I will include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Huntsville Club are Tuesdays, 7:15pm, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes early. Call Betty 705-789-2560 [email protected] or Susan at 705-789-5069 [email protected] for information and partnerships.
NOTE: Plan for our Spring Party of Dinner and Bridge June 21 : Dinner at Tall Trees and bridge back at Trinity United.
The following winners are for Tuesday, May 3 with 8 tables playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Liz Barnes and Bob Schives; 2. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 3. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; 4. Val Rhead and Susan Maddocks; East-West 1. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 2. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell; 3/4. Bev Howard and Jim Smith; 3/4. Bev Parlett and Barb Forth
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games at the Bracebridge Club are at the Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road 7pm Monday evenings. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 [email protected]
The following winners are from Monday, May 2 with 9 tables playing a Mitchelll movement. North-South 1. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2. Gail Lederer and Hazel Bowes; 3. Bev Parlett and Vern Foel; 4/5. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; 4/5. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; East-West 1. Lynda Mochrie and Wayne Mochrie; 2. Yvonne Cox and Helen Pearson; 3. Betty Rintoul and Bev Howard; 4. Liz Barnes and Lyn Walisser; 5. Bob Schives and David Bryce
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