“I know of two times to lead trumps,” a club player told me: “when you want to stop de­clarer from cross­ruff­ing, and when you have no clue what to lead.”

“When in doubt, lead trumps” is an old saw, but it’s a rare deal where no other lead will be at­trac­tive or clearly in­di­cated. In to­day’s deal, North’s bid­ding showed a fair hand with heart sup­port but no lik­ing for spades. West’s open­ing lead was ... a trump.

South won and swiftly took three club tricks to pitch a di­a­mond. He next led a spade: king, ace, three. East won the next spade and led an­other trump, and West took the ace and shifted to the queen of di­a­monds. South ruffed the sec­ond di­a­mond, drew West’s last trump and took the rest, mak­ing four.

After North- South’s auc­tion, a trump lead to stop spade ruffs in dummy would of­ten be best, but here West had no spade tricks to pro­tect. South prob­a­bly would need no ruffs. If West leads the queen of di­a­monds, South loses two di­a­monds, a spade and a trump. DAILY QUES­TION You hold: part­ner opens one spade, you re­spond 1NT, he bids two hearts and you re­turn to two spades. Part­ner next bids three hearts. What do you say?

AN­SWER: Your part­ner has a good hand and is pur­su­ing game. If he had min­i­mum val­ues, he wouldn’t have bid a third time just to tell you he has five cards in each ma­jor. Your hand could hardly be bet­ter. Your high spades and side ace are valu­able cards. Bid four spades. South dealer Both vul­ner­a­ble

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