Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 8th, 2021


GinnyJuly 22nd, 2021 at 5:22 pm

Hi Bobby,

What are the benefits (and detriments) for taking one round of trump before leading a low trump?

With regard to the lead of the 3 of diamonds, when would a high diamond be more appropriate from 3 (if ever)? Qxx, Q10x, J10x Does partner’s bidding the suit matter? Without a NT bid by South…

Robert LiptonJuly 22nd, 2021 at 5:29 pm

As the cards lie, the hand is cold if, as Bobby points out, it’s played correctly. An interesting lemma is if East continues with a third club. Now declarer can’t really duck a round of trump, but it’s still fine, so long as trump split no worse than 4-2: just play three rounds of Trump and start the clubs. If trumps break 3-3,great, you’ve made an overtrick, and if they don’t, the player with four can take his trump whenever he likes.

Bob Lipton

Bobby WolffJuly 22nd, 2021 at 6:02 pm

Hi Ginny,

AFAIK, there is no difference in first taking one high round of trump before giving up one except in the case of a 5-1 break in trumps, leading a low one first will allow the declarer to go down fewer tricks, since he will be in control sooner and benefit, at least a full trick because of it.

But for making the hand with a lesser bad split, it will make no difference, at least my take, since I am short in time to replay the hand.

As far as opening leads in partner’s suit, if already having supported partner, leading high from 3 low will usually be restricted to having the jack or better, but from a lesser high card (the ten will be optional) it is then better with three small to lead high, since the support has theoretically shown at least 3.

It all has to do with extending information to partner, although, since the enemy is always in tune, it sometimes turns out harmful as it also enables declarer to be so advised.

The real answer is that a very experienced (that word substituting for talented) player is more likely to know which may or may not be the motive to respond, having to do with a surprise holding that defender may possess.

Yes, VIRGINIA, (rather choosing a known saying, denoting talking to the world, then call you by your real name, at least my supposition) great bridge players can feel what to do, based on their specific hand and, of course, ALWAYS the bidding!

Bobby WolffJuly 22nd, 2021 at 6:05 pm

Hi Bob,

Yes, you are correct and, of course with matchpoints the point you make may become critically important, but for getting across our point in choosing this hand it iis only business as usual.

However, thanks for mentioning what is right as “rain”.

Iain ClimieJuly 22nd, 2021 at 9:22 pm

Hi Ginny,

Welcome back!