This week we feature a terrific opening lead, found in real life by John Brady, of Jacksonville (known to some as Dr. Goodlead).
Imagine yourself as East, looking at the N-E hands. West, the good doctor, leads the 10♠. A strange-looking lead, don’t you think? It’s not fourth-best, not top of a sequence. Has the doctor’s legendary commonsense finally deserted him?
While you are puzzling over that bizarre opening lead, Dummy plays the Q♠ and you gleefully ruff. What next, Mr. East? West found a grand opening lead, and life would be even grander if only you could get back to West’s hand for a second ruff. If that is to happen, West must have A♦ or A♣. Any clues as to which?
The opening lead is your much-needed clue. West led an unnecessarily high Spade and is trying to tell you something. Yes, he is advertising the Ace in the higher-ranking side-suit! So, after ruffing, you shoot back a Diamond to West’s Ace and get your second Spade ruff. Down one!
Dr. G’s lead from ♠K, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2 was not without risk, but he saw no appealing alternative, and he reasonably concluded that East had no more than two Spades (due to non-support in the auction). He didn’t necessarily expect a void, but singleton was also a possibility (in which case West would later win the A♥ and give East a second-round Spade ruff).
What just happened was a suit-preference signal, whereby, in certain situations, the play of a high card says, “I have the higher-ranking suit,” vice-versa with a low card. This defensive signal is a rare bird on opening lead; it usually comes later in the hand and even then only in specialized situations. Dr. Goodlead gave us the caviar; we’ll have some meat-and-potatoes examples in later Bridge Bites.
Visit www.acbl.org for more about the game of bridge or email email@example.com.
Contact Brian Howard, owner/director of the Bridge Center of Bradenton, at 795-8981.
Currently 0 Responses
2 Florida's Children First 2014 Sarasota Reception
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
16 Pillar of Hope Open House
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
17 Taste of St. Armands
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
17 Night of Fish, Fun & Fright
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Goliath grouper lives up to name
Talk about a real big fish.
Mazel tov to Klauber and Mancini
The West Coast Florida Region of AJC (American Jewish Committee) will honor Michael Klauber and Phil Mancini, of Michael’s On East, with its Civic Achievement Award in November.
Bob Havel celebrates 90 years with family members
Bob Havel recently celebrated his 90th birthday on Longboat Key with 24 members of his family.