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Common’s Bridge

In the middle of last summer, The House of Commons hosted a match between Members of Parliament (including a ringer – your columnist) and the European Championship winning British Ladies Team. Over the next five weeks I shall be featuring the most interesting deals with accompanying tips for the improving player.

This week’s deal swung on the opening lead – do you think West should lead his singleton  6 or from his ♣ sequence?

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


The Parliamentary West led his singleton  6 against the 4 ♠ contract. Declarer won  Q, cashed ♠ A and ♠ K revealing the bad split, then reverted to s. West trumped the second with ♠ Q and switched (belatedly) to ♣ K, but declarer won ♣ A, crossed to ♠ 10, and discarded ♣ 9 on  A. He subsequently lost  A and  K but made ten tricks.
The British Lady West led ♣ K and was a tempo ahead. Declarer won ♣ A, cashed ♠ AK then began s. Unfortunately West trumped the second round, cashed ♣ Q, then switched to s, scoring  A and  K to defeat the contract.
The point is that West’s ♠ Q will almost certainly win a trick anyway – he has no need to set up a trumping situation in s and should prefer to establish his ♣ tricks before they run away. The British Ladies earned their “game swing” for a better reasoned opening lead.

ANDREW’S TIP: Do not lead a singleton if you do not wish to trump.

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