By Valerie Rhead
Have you ever looked at the travelling score sheet stuck in the back of a recently played duplicate board. Perhaps, the hand has been played ten times and there can be many different scores. Frequently different contracts have been bid on the same hand, but often the difference between the winner and the losers is that the most effective lead has been chosen. Perhaps the opponents have a weak Diamond suit. If you lead a Diamond immediately, you can run off three tricks. If you lead something else, the enemy has a chance to discard these losers before you get in again.
How do you decide what to lead? One good way is to listen to the bidding. If your partner has bid a suit, he usually wants a lead in that suit. If a suit hasn’t been bid by either side, it may be a good suit to lead, particularly if it’s a major. A good minor suit can be overlooked in the bidding, but a good major suit is likely going to be bid.
A singleton is often a good lead in a suit contract. The hope is that partner can take the trick and lead the suit back for a ruff. Sometimes, you want to lead a doubleton. If you lead the higher card first followed by the lower card, your partner will know you have only two cards in the suit and may be able to claim a ruff. With three or four spot cards, make a MUD lead. You lead the second card (Middle) then the high card (Up) and then the low card (Down). There … as clear as mud!
Once you have decided on the suit you want to lead, if you don’t have a convenient sequence, or singleton or doubleton, which card do you pick? Canadian Bridge writer, Barbara Seagram has the useful acronym BOSTON to help you decide that. This stands for Bottom Of Something or Top Of Nothing. For example, you want to lead a Diamond. You have the 7, 5, 4, 3. You would lead the seven. Instead, if you have the King, 9, 7, 2, you would lead the two. I prefer MUD leads to “Top of Nothing.” It doesn’t confuse a weak suit with a doubleton. More about opening leads next week. Smooth sailing!
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Susan at 705-789-5069 email@example.com for information and partnerships.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Apr 26 with 7 tables playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Mary Simonett and Kel Andresen; 2. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 3. Helen Pearson and Yvonne Cox; 4. Chris Karn and Vern Foell; East-West 1. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 2. Liz Barnes and Lyn Walisser; 3. Bev Parlett and Barb Forth; 4. Mary Norman and Don Norman
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The following winners are from Monday, Apr 25 with 8 tables playing a Mitchelll movement. North-South 1. Bev Parlett and Vern Foel; 2. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 3. Val Rhead and Peter Rhead; 4. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; East-West 1. Gail Lederer and Hazel Bowes; 2. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 3. Art Insley and Don Evans; 4. Joanne Garvey and Kelly Andresen
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