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A good time to lead trumps

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. 

South Deals
E-W Vul
♠ 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
N
W   E
S
♠ 7 6 5
10 9 8 3
K 9 6 5 4
♣ 7
  ♠ A J 8
Q
Q 10 8 7 3
♣ K J 9 5
West North East South
      1
Pass 1 Pass 2 ♣
Pass 5 ♣ Pass Pass
Pass
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.

 

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