Bridge column, November 19: The magazine is a large bonus
First, even if your recipient does not play duplicate bridge or care about masterpoints, giving a membership to the American Contract Bridge League is not a bad plan.
The league publishes a monthly magazine that has something for everyone. One of the best contributors is Eddie Kantar. In this deal of his, first, if you were West, what would you lead against four hearts?
Now look at the North-South hands. How should South play in four hearts after West leads a club?
When leading against a suit contract, usually do not select a singleton trump or a suit headed by the ace without the king (unless very short in that suit). So the choice is between the black suits. You should lead a club because it is the stronger suit (and I dislike leading from a jack).
South has four losers in his hand: one spade, two diamonds and one club. He cannot avoid the top losers in the pointed suits, so must eliminate that club loser.
Since declarer does not have time to play on diamonds, he must get two spade winners, hoping that West has the jack. South should play a trump to dummy and lead a spade to his king. When it wins, he returns a spade to dummy's 10. When that brings out the ace, declarer wins the club return, draws trumps ending in the dummy, and discards his last club on the spade queen.
More details are at www.acbl.org.
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