Bridge column, October 23: Do you lead high or low?
I suppose bridge's equivalent is not aiming for our contract, but being happy with an undertrick and achieving that mark when the contract was makeable.
In today's deal, South sets his sights on four spades. West leads the heart king. How should declarer play his trump suit?
South opened with a weak two-bid, admittedly with a flimsier suit than would please the purists -- not that we have many of those left in the tournament world. Note North's raise of two spades to four spades. Inexperienced players often respond three no-trump, then find that when South has strong spades, they cannot get to his hand.
South has one heart loser, so can afford two trump losers, but not three.
Declarer takes the first trick with dummy's heart ace, cashes the spade ace, and plays a club to his hand. What does he do next?
Leading the spade jack (or 10) on the second round works well when the nine is doubleton. But if an opponent has honor-doubleton, leading a low spade works much better.
Since there are two honor-doubletons (K-x or Q-x) and only one nine-doubleton, it is right to continue with a low spade. And, of course, because I can place the cards where I prefer, that play brings home the contract.
Always aim high, trying to find the best play for your contract.
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