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Local Bridge with Myrnie McLaughlin

Planning best defense

In order to have your best chance of defeating your opponent’s contract, you must make a plan of attack. Your best chance begins with your opening lead.

Leads against NT and against a suit have different considerations. Defending against NT you know opponents have more points on their side than yours so you need to find an advantage. Leading 4th from longest and strongest, top of sequence or from a poor suit with 2 higher cards can yield results later on.

But against a suit contract, the situation is different. You need to develop your tricks early on and strike quickly. Making a lead from your long suit (5-6 cards), will likely result in declarer ruffing later on.

But if your long suit is topped by an Ace you may consider taking it early.

Against suit contracts, leading from strength and top of sequence and broken sequences is appropriate. Also you can consider leading a singleton hoping for a ruff later in play.

If you have no other good choices, leading a trump may be effective in keeping declarer from a trump advantage later. But, as so often is the case, you have none of these and hold a hand with useless 4 card suits.

There are two schools of thought to choose from: lead 4th from a K Q or 4th from a J T. Neither is guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time. Considering the auction to help with your choice is another lesson.

Winning our May 26 Evergreen game were: N/S 1st Dick Brisbin and Pat Featherston, 2nd our newest players Mack Brown and Fred Krusemark, 3rd Becky Creekmore and Patty King; E/W 1st Ruth Bowles and Wade Lowder, 2nd Margaret and Chuck Rimer, 3rd BettyBonner Steele and Betty Bills.

Featured is board #3 from this game E/W vulnerable South dealing


S A Q 9 7 3

H K 7 3

D Q 7

C 9 3 2

WEST:              EAST:

S T 4                  S K 5 2

H —                    H A Q T 6 4

D AKT95            D J 8 6

C A Q J T 7 5       C K 6


S J 8 6

H J 9 8 5 2

D 4 3 2

C 8 4

The best N/S score was made by Fred Krusemark and Mack Brown whose opponents only bid 4D making 5 while the best E/W score made by Ruth Bowles and Wade Lowder who bid 3NT making 7.

The Women’s Club May 30 game winners: 1st Becky Creekmore and Dick Brisbin, 2nd Shirley and Ron Jeffers, 3rd Lawana Ford and Betty Bills, 4th Margaret and Chuck Rimer.

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