THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
YOUR LEAD LEADS PARTNER CORRECTLY
Albert Einstein said, “A theory can be proved by experiment; but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.”
At the bridge table, leads are very important. And not only do you have to lead the right suit, but you must also be careful which card you select.
In this deal, South is in four hearts. West leads the diamond eight. How should East plan the defense?
North’s two-no-trump response was the Jacoby Forcing Raise, guaranteeing at least four-card heart support and game-forcing values. South rebid four hearts to show a minimum opening bid and no singleton or void.
West led a diamond because that suit was stronger than his clubs.
East knew that his partner’s lead was top of nothing. And it couldn’t be a singleton, because that would have given South five diamonds and a singleton or void, which he had denied in the auction. Also, now dummy had diamond winners on which South could discard losers.
East realized that his side had to take, in order, one diamond, one spade and two clubs. But how to get West to win his spade trick and shift to a club?
At trick two, East carefully led the spade nine, the high card in principle denying an honor in the suit. West got the message and defeated the contract.
If East had led the spade two, West would have probably put in a lower spade to force out dummy’s king, or won with his ace and returned the suit.
Remember, a low lead from length expresses an interest in trying to win tricks in that suit.