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If the opponents have bid to a high-level contract and you have a surprisingly large number of points, they are probably planning to make tricks by trumping rather than with high cards. Take out two of their trumps by leading a trump.
♠ 10 9 4 3
♥ A 6 4 2
♣ A Q 10 8 4
♠ K Q 2
♥ K J 7 5
♦ A J 2
♣ 6 3 2
♠ 7 6 5
♥ 10 9 8 3
♦ K 9 6 5 4
♠ A J 8
♦ Q 10 8 7 3
♣ K J 9 5
|Pass||1 ♥||Pass||2 ♣|
|5 ♣ by South|
West was correct to pass over 1♦ - to overcall 1NT would show 15-18 points and to overcall 1♥ would guarantee five cards. Against 5♣ it might appear attractive for him to lead ♠K - a sequence in the unbid suit. Had he done so declarer would win ♠A, play ♥Q to ♥A, trump ♥2 and lead ♠J. Assume West wins with ♠Q and switches to ♣2. Declarer wins with dummy’s ♣10, trumps a third ♥, leads ♠8 to dummy’s ♠9, and trumps dummy’s last ♥. He trumps a ♦, draws West’s remaining trumps and makes his twelfth trick with ♠10.
It is a different story on a trump lead. Declarer wins in dummy and leads ♠3 to ♠J. West wins ♠Q and plays a second trump. Declarer wins in dummy and plays ♠4 to ♠8. West wins ♠K and plays his last trump. Declarer can only trump one ♥ in his hand and makes 2♠s, ♥A and six trump tricks - two down.
ANDREW’S TIP: As a defender, lead a trump when you have a surprisingly good hand.