At matchpoint duplicate bridge, not vulnerable vrrsus vulnerable, and sitting West, I held

♠ AK32
♡ J643
♢ 6
♣ JT82

Partner (East) opened one heart, South overcalled one spade, I raised to two hearts, North bid two spades, and there were three passes, giving me the opening lead.

I led my diamond singleton, and (FWIW) dummy came down:

♠ JT95
♡ A
♢ JT92
♣ KQ64

Partner asked me why i didn't lead her heart suit. I pointed out, with the benefit of hindsight, that dummy had a singleton ace, meaning that we would not take tricks in that suit. Even without the "look," I feared that given my partner's and my heart length, one of the opponents would have a singleton (or void).

Given my singleton, I wanted to be able to ruff diamonds with my little spades. I had two trump "stoppers" and I wanted to save partner's (presumed) heart entry so she could lead diamonds.

I might not have done this with the spade KQxx or QJxx because I would need the "little" cards to protect my honors. But here, I thought best use of the 3 and 2 would be as ruffers.

Was I right to lead my singleton? Or was partner right to insist on a heart lead? Or perhaps the mistake was that neither of us bid three hearts earlier?

  • 1
    Can we talk about that overcall!?! The lead here is not the interesting issue….
    – Joe
    Oct 19, 2022 at 2:53

2 Answers 2


I am pretty sure that 90% or more of experts would lead the singleton diamond, and at least close to that percentage would not have passed 2[spades].

There are hands where you lead your suit instead of a singleton, but this is not that kind of hand nor that kind of bidding.

  • Exactly. Even more useful for roughing small diamonds would be the Heart 6, 4, and 3. Oct 19, 2022 at 11:49

There is an adage, that when you have long trumps you should lead your side's longest suit. The objective being, that you can force declarer to use up enough trumps ruffing your long suit and they will loose control of the trump suit which can often produce more tricks than ruffing low diamonds.

This would seem a reasonable strategy to start with, even though it is quickly becomes apparent their heart shortage is in the short trump hand so unlikely to work, but you can still switch strategies later - So your partner does have a point about leading their suit.

Although with your 4 hearts I think they should have a bigger issue that you should respond 2S (forcing to 3H) rather than 2H - or at least raise to 3H over their 2S (Either would probably push opponents up to 3S rather than let you play 3H)! Then 3S would extract more penalties for you.

I suspect you saw diamond ruffs and chose to defend even before you explored whether your side had game on, or had got to a position where you might double the opponents for penalties!

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