Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Paul we can find the right opening lead

Paul Thurston’s column in the National Post included the comment that players often made the wrong opening lead.    During our session last night I couldn’t help but think that a lot of bridge players are pretty good at finding the right one.  Exhibit is one is the lead Colin made on our fourth board.

He held S Q62 H 932 D J8 C J9653

With all vulnerable the auction went:

West North East South
1C pass 1S pass
1NT pass 2NT all pass

What do you like?  Colin lead the DJ and found me with the DKQ762.  The opponents were not in the best contract and would probably have gone down on any lead except a spade but this certainly made it easy.  Some might argue for a heart lead but on this auction I am quite likely to have diamonds and his DJ is a helper card. 

My opening lead was a lot easier.  You have S K1083 H 64 D Q73 C K872.   You are vulnerable against not and the auction goes:

West North East South
    1S pass
1NT pass 2H all pass

I think a heart lead is completely clear, don’t you.  It is the only lead to beat the hand.

  S AJ62  
  H AJ85  
  D K9  
West C J94 East
S void   S Q9754
H 72   H KQ1093
D J1086542   D A
C AQ65 Linda C 103
  S K1083  
  H 64  
  D Q73  
  C K872  

After a heart lead and heart continuation declarer has no chance.

I wasn’t sure how to bid this hand which lead to some discussion after the game. 

S K103 H A72 D KQ1098 C 65

What do you think?  Colin opened 2C showing 6C and a limited hand.  He can have a four card major or a five card one if he is 6-5. 

I think in retrospect I should just bid 3NT but I thought we could easily have a big problem in one of the major suits.  I can find out more about his shape by bidding 2D so I did.  I wasn’t sure where I was going with it though.  It went double and Colin bid 2H showing a four card major.  Expecting him to be short in diamonds now (and with a likely diamond lead) I bid 3NT which turned out the be right.  He held SQ72 H KJ54 D Void C AQJ743.  The question was what would I have done over 2H without the double.  I suppose I would probably have bid 3NT anyway.  What would I do if he bid 3C, minimum no majors.  I probably still should bid 3NT.

Do you ever have hands where you hate your bid and it turns out perfectly?  Here was a hand where I just bid and it worked out well when partner had the hand of my dreams.  I held S QJ H 64 D J7532 C A986.  With all white, West opened 1H and Colin overcalled 2C.  East bid 4H.  Do you like 5C here?  This is a momentum bid isn’t it?   I knew that Colin would make some allowance for the fact I was under pressure.  David Silver, one of my favourite humorous writers has a name for this.  He calls it certainty principle.  On some hands whatever level you bid to, the opponents will be their suit over it.  So you get to place the contract!    It went pass pass 5H.  Now I really didn’t want him to bid again so I doubled 5H.  As it turns out if I lead the SQ we can take 5 tricks (and 4 tricks on any other lead) so this would have been safe.  But Colin was ready for bigger things.  He figured I had to have some high cards for my double and he bid 6C.  East doubled and here was Colin’s wonderful hand.

S AK52 H J D A C KJ107542

Or as Ray likes to joke, there were 21 total tricks on this hand (roughly) unfortunately (for the opponents) 12 of them were ours.

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