DAILY BRIDGE CLUB
Once a defender decides on a suit to lead, the card he chooses is often a routine matter: the top card from a sequence of three or more honors and usually from a “broken sequence” such as Q-J-9-x. From Q-106-3, he leads fourth highest. From a worthless holding such as 9-8-6-4, he may lead high to deny strength.
Some situations require special treatment. In today’s deal, West leads a diamond against four spades: jack, ace, six. East decides to attack hearts. He fears that once declarer draws trumps, dummy’s clubs may provide heart discards.
Say East shifts to the deuce. If declarer plays low, West must put up the king, and the defense gets only one heart.
East must lead the 10 of hearts, a so-called “surrounding play.” If South’s jack covers, West’s king forces dummy’s ace, and when West takes his king of trumps, his heart return lets East score the eight and queen. In such situations, a defender leads the card he would have led had he held a sequence.
You hold: ♠ K7 ♥ K53 ♦ Q9742 ♣ 6 5 3. Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT and he bids two hearts. What do you say?
Answer: Although to pass might be best, your correct call is a “false preference” to two spades. Your partner will most often have only four hearts and five spades, and the 5-2 fit will prove to be the better trump suit. Moreover, your bid will give partner another chance. If he has significant extra strength, you may have a game.