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Bridge 11/09

Lots of bridge in a small packet

Bridge Plus is published monthly in England, in a small-page format. Although it aims primarily at tournament players, there are several articles and quizzes for those hoping to become duplicate winners.
    Julian Pottage gives two opening-lead problems in each issue. First, look only at the West hand and the auction. What would you lead against three no-trump?
    Once you have decided, look at the full deal and decide how you think the defenders can play to best advantage to try to defeat the contract.
    The last time I did not lead my singleton in partner's suit against three no-trump, the contract made instead of going down three — and vulnerable to boot. So, unless you have a strong holding like K-Q-J-10-9, not 9-8-7-6-5, lead your partner's suit.
    Presumably declarer will play low from the board, permitting your partner to win with his king and return a low heart to the ace on the board. (East might also put in his 10 at trick one.) South will play a diamond to his hand, then run the spade nine.
    Now East must be clever, winning with his ace, not the queen. Then, when he returns the heart jack to drive out declarer's queen (or a low one to dummy's ace), South will surely take a second spade finesse, getting a nasty surprise when East produces the queen and runs his hearts for down two.
    Note that if East takes the first spade trick with his queen, declarer will resort to the club finesse and get home with two hearts, three diamonds and four clubs.
    Full details are available at www.bridge-plus.co.uk.

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