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By Val Rhead
Last week we looked at the opening lead of Aces and Kings against No Trump contracts. For today’s column, the declarer is in a suit contract. You are on opening lead with at least one Ace and/or King in your hand. What are your options for a successful defense?
The second worst opening lead in suit contracts is the lead of your Ace missing the King. The declarer is delighted because now his King is good. There is, however, one lead in a suit contract that is worse than your lead of an Ace. That is the lead of a small card that is below your Ace (also known as under-leading an Ace). Not only does this lead often allow the declarer to take an undeserved trick with his King, but it may give declarer an extra trick because he may have a singleton. You would then lose your Ace entirely!
Listen to the bidding and make note of the important information it gives you. Make sure you know what suit, if any, your partner has bid. If you have an Ace in partner’s suit, lead the Ace and watch for your partner’s signal. If his signal is a high card, he likes your lead and wants you to continue. A low card from partner signals that he wants a different suit. (That’s assuming you play standard signals – there are different signalling systems that you and your partner may agree upon.)
If you do not have the Ace of partner’s suit but you have the King, lead the King from a singleton or doubleton hoping for a subsequent ruff; but lead small from the King with two or more small cards.
If your partner hasn’t bid, but your opponent on the left has bid another suit as well as trump, it could be that leading through this suit would be effective. Perhaps he is missing the King or Queen and this card is held by your partner. On the other hand, it usually is not useful to lead the suit bid by your right-hand opponent. If he is missing a King or Queen, your lead may give him an extra trick.
Leading a small card headed by a King often is not successful unless it is a suit bid by your partner. It may give your opponent an extra trick. If your right-hand opponent has the Ace-Queen when you lead from the King, he is able to take the trick with his Queen. He wouldn’t have been able to take that trick with a different opening lead.
Now, what do you do if you are on opening lead and your hand has three suits headed by Kings, and one suit headed by the Ace, and partner has not bid. This is often the type of hand I get. We’ll continue this discussion of opening leads next week including a discussion of when to use active leads and passive leads. This may give you some ideas for handling this kind of situation.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include it in this column.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Please NOTE new time 7pm: Games are now on EVENING PLAY for the Summer, Tuesday 7:00pm Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For partners and information call Liz Graham (705) 789-7187
The following winners are for Tuesday, May 15 with 12 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Fay MacDonald and Yvonne Cox; 2. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 3. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 4. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 5. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell; 6. Vern Foell and Rod Dixon
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time. For information or partnerships, call Brian at 705-645-5340 email@example.com
The following winners are from Monday, May 14 with 16 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. North-South 1. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 2. Kel Andresen and Jim Smith; 3. Mary Hogarth and Albert Eatock; 4. Lyn Walisser and Brian Brocklehurst; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Joyce Payne and Malcolm Payne; 3. Carol Anne Robinson and Nancy Barber; 4. Art Insley and Don Evans
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