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Subj:.....Still More Opening Leads from Chapter 1, Part 9 (S539c)
          From Chapter 1 - "Opening Leads", page 30

From the book How To Defend A Bridge Hand 
              by William S. Root 
              Published in 1994 by 
              Crown Publishing, Inc., New York 

Study the bidding carefully and then choose your opening
lead for each of the following hands.
 

Leads Versus Slams

The opening leader must analyze the bidding and decide whether to make an aggressive lead or a passive lead against a slam.  Here are three more slam illustrations to help you decide when it is right and when it is wrong to lead an ace against a slam:
 
1. West
J 7 4
6 5 2
A 10 9 3
10 9 8
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

3 Hearts
5 Hearts
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Pass

South
1 Heart
4 NT
6 Hearts

Lead the ten of clubs.  There is no indication from the bidding that declarer will be able to discard losing diamonds on another suit, so choose the safest possible lead; do not lead your ace.  It is  tricks within the diamond suit itself you should be concerned about:  If declarer is forced to break the diamond suit, your ace may capture the king or queen and deprive himof a trick; if you had lead the ace, you will probably capture two spot cards.

You should lead an ace, if you have another trick, and if you are reasonably sure your ace will not be ruffed.  For example:
 
2. West
J 7 4
Q J 2
A 6 5 3
10 9 8
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

3 Hearts
5 Hearts
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Pass

South
1 Heart
4 NT
6 Hearts

The bidding indicates that declarer does not have a void diamond suit (he should not use Blackwood with a void suit) and you have a heart trick, so you definitely should lead the ace of diamonds.

Underleading an ace versus a trump contract is a losing proposition in the long run.  The following deal is a rare exception; although a gambling lead, it cannot mislead your partner.
 
3. West
_
8 6 3
A K Q 4 3 2
9 7 6 5
West

2 Diamonds
Pass
Pass
Pass

North

3 Clubs
4 Hearts
5 Diamonds
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

South
1 Spade
3 Hearts
4 NT
6 Hearts

Lead the four of diamonds; yes, underlead the ace-king-queen.  Declarer's bidding indicates that he has a singleton diamond (he would not use Blackwood with a void suit, and he would not bid slam with two losing diamonds).  So unless partner has a trick (very doubtful), you need a spade ruff to beat the contract.  Now do you see the merit of the lead?  If partner has the jack of diamonds, you can beat the slam.

Lead-Directing Doubles of Artificial Bids

The double of any artificial bid calls for that suit to be led; it does not matter whether the eventual contract is played in notrump or in a suit.  The most common artificial bids are: a Stayman response to an opening notrump bid, a response to Blackwood or Gerber, a control-showing bid or a transfer bid.  Here are three examples:
 
4. West
J 10 2
7 4 3
J 8 6
Q J 9 5
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

3 Hearts
5 Diamonds
Pass

East

Pass
Double
Pass

South
1 Heart
4 NT
6 Hearts

Lead the six of diamonds.  The five-diamond response to Blackwood is an artificial bid, so partner's double asks for a diamond lead.


 
5. West
9 7 3
10 9 6 5
Q 8
10 7 4 3
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

3 Spades
4 Diamonds
Pass

East

Pass
Double
Pass

South
1 Spade
4 Clubs
4 Spades

Lead the queen of diamonds.  North's four-diamond bid is a control-showing bid, so partner's double calls for a diamond lead.


 
6. West
Q 10 4
7 2
Q 9 6 3
J 10 8 7
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

2 Hearts
3 NT
Pass

East

Double
Pass
Pass

South
1 NT
2 Spades
4 Spades

Lead the seven of hearts.  North's two-heart bid is artificial, so partner's double calls for a heart lead.

Lead-Directing Doubles of Slams Bid in A Suit

If your opponents arrive at a slam in a trump contract and your partner has the opening lead, a double calls for an "unusual lead."  For example:
 
7. West
7 4
Q 8 7 4 3 2
J 10 9
9 6
West

Pass
Pass
Pass

North

2 NT
3 Spades
Pass

East

Pass
Pass
Double

South
1 Spade
3 Hearts
6 Spades
All Pass

Lead the four of hearts.  When you and your partner have never bid, an unusual lead is defined as a suit bid by the enemy.  The doubler is usually void in the suit he wants led; in this case, you can expect him to ruff your heart lead.  These lead-directing doubles of a suit slam are called "Lightner Doubles," named after Theodore Lightner, who had the original idea in 1929.


 
8. West
5 3 2
6 3
J 10 7
9 8 7 6 4
West

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

North

2 Clubs
4 Hearts
5 Hearts
Pass

East

3 Diamonds
Pass
Pass
Double

South
1 Spade
3 Hearts
4 NT
6 Hearts
All Pass

Lead the six of clubs.  Partner's double said: "Don't lead my suit."  So the other two suits (whether the opponents bid both of them or not) are in the catagory of unusual.  Partner wants you to lead a club or a spade.  In most cases the doubler has a void suit and wants to ruff the opening lead.  Since you have five clubs and only three spades, it is much more likely that partner is void in clubs.
 
 

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These are eight examples from the book "How To Defend A Bridge Hand". 
Buy the book, read it, and reread it.  It will improve your bridge game.

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