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Bridge 4/4
Queries on bidding and opening lead
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    Cartoonist and humorist James Thurber said, "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
    At the bridge table, if you ask yourself the right questions and answer them correctly, you will play very well.
    Here, look first at the South hand. North passes as dealer, and East opens one heart. What would you bid?
    Next, move into West's chair. You are on lead against four spades, your partner having opened one heart. What would you select?
    South should jump straight to four spades. He needs only the diamond ace in his partner's hand to be laydown for four spades. Or if North has the heart ace or club ace, it would permit an entry to the dummy for a diamond lead toward the king. With luck, East, the opener, will have that ace. And since North is a passed hand, it is unlikely that a slam is makable.
    Now West's lead. When you have three low cards in the suit partner bid, lead low if you have not supported (length information is more important than strength information), or lead high if you have supported (when partner knows you have length). So, lead the heart two.
    East wins the first two tricks in hearts. Knowing that declarer is now out of hearts, East shifts to a low diamond, and two tricks in that suit defeat the contract.
    Note that if West leads the heart eight, East will think it is from a doubleton and try to cash a third heart trick, which lets the contract make with an overtrick.
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