The bid­ding leads to the open lead

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - GOINGS ON -

Peter Drucker, an Aus­trian-Amer­i­can writer on the sub­jects of man­age­ment the­ory and prac­tice, penned, “Man­age­ment is do­ing things right; lead­er­ship is do­ing the right things.”

In bridge, you try to man­age the auc­tion to reach the best con­tract. But some­times it is im­por­tant to help part­ner with the open­ing lead.

In to­day’s deal, what is the par con­tract, the one in which each side does worse by bid­ding higher? The deal was played 17 times at Bridge Base On­line. The best East-West re­sult was five spades dou­bled and made by West. The auc­tion fol­lowed as shown, ex­cept that East bid five spades, not five hearts, and for some rea­son South dou­bled. Af­ter a di­a­mond lead, West ruffed in the dummy, crossed to hand with a trump, ruffed an­other di­a­mond, drew trumps and tried to run hearts. They did not split evenly, but West had 11 tricks: six spades, three hearts and those two di­a­mond ruffs. Only one other ta­ble went be­yond four spades. That auc­tion is given. Over three di­a­monds, East wanted to make a four-heart fit­show­ing jump, but wasn’t con­fi­dent that part­ner would read it as such. So he set­tled for four spades. Then South might have re­bid five clubs to help part­ner judge, should East-West bid higher. When he re­bid five di­a­monds, East took the op­por­tu­nity to tell his part­ner what to lead should North-South go to six di­a­monds, which is ex­actly what hap­pened. The de­fend­ers took the first two tricks for down one. The par re­sult is six di­a­monds dou­bled, down one.

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