Take the 2-minute tour ×
Board & Card Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who like playing board games, designing board games or modifying the rules of existing board games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I was "West," that is, the opening leader. My left and right hand opponents had alternated diamond and spade bids, neither supporting the other, suggesting something like 6-1 misfits in both suits (which actually turned out to be the case), and South bought the contract at four spades.

I held something like:

♠xx ♥Qxx ♦JTxx ♣Qxxx

led a low heart (the unbid major). This gave the opponents a free finesse, and the contract was (barely) made.

I had also given consideration to a diamond lead from the JT sequence. Since South had only one diamond, he couldn't finesse out the T or capture it when guarded by xx, after capturing the J with a higher honor. With honors in all three plain suits, I even thought of (and rejected) the "safe" lead of a low trump. The last alternative was to lead the fourth club, which at least left TWO guards for the queen.

Did I make a bad lead? Should I have led either a diamond or spade, instead, even though both had been bid by the opponents?

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Assuming the opponents were not overbidding, your lead was perfectly fine. (though with lead problems, you ought to give the complete auction, as that matters a lot).

Elaborating on my comment to thesun...'s answer:

Usually when dummy bids and rebids a suit and you have a weak stopper like JTxx, there is real danger of that suit being set up or losers from declarer's hand immediately going away (for instance AKQxxx opposite void and declarer throws away heart/club losers).

Such auctions (where dummy shows a real suit) usually call for an attacking lead and a trump lead is quite bad in that respect. There is also the distinct possibility the dummy is void in trumps and you are giving declarer a finesse he could not take, if you lead a trump.

A diamond lead is similarly bad as you are just giving declarer the option to throw away his losers immediately.

So the only reasonable choices (IMO) on this hand are either a heart or a club and either is ok, as to beat the contract you would probably need tricks from both suits.

btw: Try not to make conclusions from just one hand. Even a 90% odds on play has to fail 10% of the time.

share|improve this answer
    
The auction was 1d, 1s, 2d, 2s, 3d, 3s, 4d, 4s. That's what I meant by "alternating diamond and spade bids, neither bidder supporting the other." Opponents had 29-30 points to compensate for only 7 spades, just made it. –  Tom Au Oct 8 '11 at 19:11
1  
@Tom: Assume they are playing "standard american", your opponents are either crazy or beginners. Against such auctions, there might be no logical leads! I would probably lead a club though, as that might be safer than a heart. (I still would be reluctant to lead a spade or diamond). –  Aryabhata Oct 8 '11 at 19:22
    
@Tom: btw, I am curious. What were the opponents hands? –  Aryabhata Oct 13 '11 at 21:44

I certainly sometimes lead opponent's trumps when I can see literally nothing else attractive to do. As a way of getting the lie of the land it's pretty safe. And it's not like you were planning on making any quick tricks with those spades in your hand, right?

It seems especially attractive here. With a horrible 6-1 spade fit it's not like drawing trumps is likely to be opponents' first priority. Knocking out dummy's sole trump may limit the opponent's options and eliminates the possibility of the "free finesse" that you mentioned. In what is otherwise a vacuum of information about which unbid suit to lead, I'd probably have gone for it...

share|improve this answer
1  
Knocking out entries from dummy is certainly sometimes useful. But not always ;-) –  Bill Michell Oct 7 '11 at 6:28
    
-1: Usually when dummy bids and rebids a suit and you have a weak stopper like JTxx, there is real danger of that suit being set up or losers from declarer's hand immediately going away. Such auctions call for an attacking lead and a trump lead is quite bad in that respect. There is also the distinct possibility the dummy is void in trumps and you are giving declarer a finesse he could not take. –  Aryabhata Oct 8 '11 at 18:49
    
Mm, yes, I suppose a void opposite a void is quite likely in the case of the (unusual) bidding sequence that's now been outlined by Tom, where they deny each other's suit 3-4 times each. I'd maintain that it's not always bad to lead the opponents' suit on defence, to answer the question in the title, though perhaps it was a rash thing to propose on this particular deal... –  thesunneversets Oct 8 '11 at 23:15
    
Look for instance at this table of suggestions for how to lead: bridgehands.com/O/Opening_Leads.htm. It suggests leading a (non-singleton) trump when "opponents have a misfit or a mediocre fit". That's exactly what's going on here, no? –  thesunneversets Oct 9 '11 at 12:41
    
@thesun: You are talking about 5A? Why ignore 4A? I would rather trust Eddie Kantar any day over some random website. See here: books.google.com/books?id=r0dtP5H3NJYC&pg=PA34. To give the bridgehands site the benefit of doubt, the 5A is probably talking about the case when declarer has shown two suits and dummy has given preference to the second suit (and so is likely to be short in the first suit). In general when dummy is expected to be short in trumps, a trump lead is quite bad. –  Aryabhata Oct 9 '11 at 14:28

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.