A change of pace from Down Un­der

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - CLASSIFIED­S - By Phillip Alder

There is one other in­de­pen­dent English-lan­guage bridge pub­li­ca­tion: Aus­tralian Bridge.

It ap­pears six times a year in a large-page for­mat. Ob­vi­ously the ar­ti­cles have an an­tipodean slant, but there is a bid­ding match (you may bid the hands first with your part­ner), an ex­pert bid­ding panel and var­i­ous quizzes.

In each is­sue, Ron Klinger sets two open­ing-lead prob­lems. In this one, look at the West hand and the auc­tion. What would you lead against four spades?

North was a tad cau­tious in rais­ing only to three spades, but South com­pen­sated. (Those of you who em­ploy the Los­ing Trick Count will know that both North and South were jus­ti­fied in bid­ding four spades.)

The deal oc­curred dur­ing this year’s Asia-Pa­cific Open Teams. For Aus­tralia, Sar­taj Hans (West) led the di­a­mond five (third-high­est from an even num­ber or low­est from an odd num­ber). Peter Gill (East) won with his jack, then care­fully re­turned the di­a­mond two, so that his part­ner could push a club through dummy’s ace up to his king (nec­es­sary if South held the queen). The con­tract had to go down one.

At the other ta­ble, West un­wisely led a spade. Andy Hung (South) drew trumps and played a heart from his hand. West won with his ace, but the dam­age had been done. De­clarer’s club losers dis­ap­peared on dummy’s hearts.

As Klinger con­cluded: When choos­ing an open­ing lead against a suit con­tract, if dummy has shown a po­ten­tial source of tricks in an out­side suit, do not lead a trump or dummy’s side suit.

De­tails are at aus­tralian­bridge.com.

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