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Bridge 10/3

If partner passes, lead correctly

    Stephen Leacock, a Canadian writer and economist, said, "Advertising may be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it."
    At the bridge table, never arrest your intelligence — keep thinking.
    For the final column in this series on takeout doubles, let me say something, strange as it might sound, about opening leads. Here are two auctions. (1)South opens one spade, you make a takeout double, and it goes all pass. (2)Your right-hand opponent opens two spades, a weak two-bid; you double; your left-hand opponent raises to four spades; and your partner's double is passed out. What would you lead in each case?
    Perhaps you are asking: "What is my hand?" Also, they sound like such different questions, but they are not. In both cases, without even looking at the rest of your hand, lead a trump. And if you are void in trumps, steal one from the other deck on the table!
    When partner passes a low-level takeout double, turning it into a penalty double, he promises long and strong trumps. Lead one and expect him to draw trumps sooner rather than later.
    In a higher-level contract, from where will the opponents, who have few high-card points, get tricks? Their trumps. So lead one to minimize those tricks.
    In today's deal, East has an acceptable pass over one spade doubled. (If nervous, he should jump to two no-trump, which would make.) But if you do not lead a trump, declarer gets two club ruffs on the board and can collect an overtrick. However, after a trump to East's ace and another trump, South is held to six tricks.

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