Goren Bridge Society

Trick one

It is often said that trick one is the most important trick for the defense. This not only refers to the opening lead, but third hand play as well. Third-hand play is often indicated by the choice of lead. Today’s deal is from a team competition. North- South were trailing in the match and South’ s off-beat opening bid was made in an attempt to create a swing.

South played low from dummy and East routinely played the 10. This lost to South’s queen and the contract could no longer be defeated. South established the spades and easily took nine tricks. Many experts today will only lead a low card from an honor against a no-trump contract. They will lead a high card, or second highest, with no honor in the suit. This is a good idea all the time, in our opinion, but certainly against no trump contracts.

Had West led the nine of clubs, or the eight, East would deduce that declarer held the queen. He would win with his king at trick one and continue the suit. Should South win in dummy and lead a spade, East should see that there would be no harm in playing his king, and it might be crucial.

Another club after winning with the king would leave South with no chance for his contract.

Had that happened, South’ s opening bid would have indeed created a swing. The South player at the other table opened a normal one spade and made four spades easily after a diamond lead.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 7:15:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/trick-one/article34333515.ece

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