Main   Exercise 4W69 by Richard Pavlicek  

Take Me To Your Leader

The saucer landed and one of the tiny little men said, “Take me to your leader!”
I would, but I didn’t know who my leader was. -Jonathan Winters

As West, decide which card you would lead on each hand.

1. None VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S 9 2
H A J 8 7 6
D J 10 9
C K 7 6
Table

Your lead:

2. N-S VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
2 NT
S 8 6
H A Q 9 2
D Q 10 2
C K J 8 4
Table

Your lead:

3. E-W VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
S Q 9 7 3
H A K 3
D Q 9 8 4
C 10 2
Table

Your lead:

4. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S 8 7 6 4 2
H J 10
D 8 7 6
C J 10 9
Table

Your lead:

5. None VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
S J 9 4 3
H A 10 4 3
D K J 2
C J 4
Table

Your lead:

6. N-S VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S Q J 2
H K Q 3
D 8 6 4 2
C Q J 8
Table

Your lead:

TopMain

7. E-W VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S Q J 8
H A 9 8 5 3
D J 9 2
C 8 6
Table

Your lead:

8. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S A 8 2
H K Q 6 2
D 5
C J 10 9 4 3
Table

Your lead:

9. None VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S 6 4
H K J 8 2
D A Q 7
C J 10 4 2
Table

Your lead:

10. N-S VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S K Q 10
H 3
D J 9 7 6 3
C J 9 8 7
Table

Your lead:

11. E-W VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S K
H A 9 7 6
D K 10 4 3
C Q 9 7 2
Table

Your lead:

12. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S A 3 2
H Q 9 6
D K 10 6 2
C Q 10 2
Table

Your lead:

TopMain

Study 4W69 by Richard Pavlicek

Take Me To Your Leader

1. None VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S 9 2
H A J 8 7 6
D J 10 9
C K 7 6
Table

Lead fourth-best from your long suit. Note that the 8-7-6 is not considered a “sequence” because it is not headed by an honor.

2. N-S VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
2 NT
S 8 6
H A Q 9 2
D Q 10 2
C K J 8 4
Table

With scattered strength and no five-card suit, make a passive lead. You rate to win more tricks if you wait for partner or declarer to lead your good suits.

3. E-W VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
S Q 9 7 3
H A K 3
D Q 9 8 4
C 10 2
Table

Prefer a major suit to a minor suit when you have similar holdings in the two suits. Leading a heart from A-K-3 is more likely to help declarer establish tricks.

4. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S 8 7 6 4 2
H J 10
D 8 7 6
C J 10 9
Table

With such a weak spade suit and no outside entry, your best strategy is to try to hit partner’s long suit. This is almost surely hearts on the bidding.

5. None VulWest

Pass
North

3 NT
East

All Pass
South
1 NT
S J 9 4 3
H A 10 4 3
D K J 2
C J 4
Table

There is no safe lead, but a spade is less likely to help declarer. The old myth, “Never lead from a jack,” holds no water in my view.

6. N-S VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 NT
East

Pass
South
1 NT
3 NT
S Q J 2
H K Q 3
D 8 6 4 2
C Q J 8
Table

Rather than guess which of your honor sequences to lead from, take the passive route. With stoppers in three suits you will regain the lead, then you can shift if appropriate.

TopMain

7. E-W VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S Q J 8
H A 9 8 5 3
D J 9 2
C 8 6
Table

This does not imply that doubletons are a “lead of choice.” It’s just that any other lead is very risky, so it is wise to be passive.

8. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S A 8 2
H K Q 6 2
D 5
C J 10 9 4 3
Table

A singleton is an excellent lead, especially when you hold the ace of trumps. When you later win the S A, you will try to get partner on lead to give you a diamond ruff.

9. None VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S 6 4
H K J 8 2
D A Q 7
C J 10 4 2
Table

A low club would be the safest side-suit lead, but I wouldn’t want to risk even that. The trump lead is safest of all. Note that it is proper to lead low from a doubleton trump.

10. N-S VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

2 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S K Q 10
H 3
D J 9 7 6 3
C J 9 8 7
Table

You will almost surely win two trump tricks by default, so it is unwise to lead your singleton. With no clear-cut choice just lead your longest suit.

11. E-W VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S K
H A 9 7 6
D K 10 4 3
C Q 9 7 2
Table

It is slightly safer to lead from a queen than a king or ace. Further, if your lead happens to give declarer three club tricks, it often turns out that it wouldn’t matter anyway.

12. Both VulWest

Pass
All Pass
North

3 S
East

Pass
South
1 S
4 S
S A 3 2
H Q 9 6
D K 10 6 2
C Q 10 2
Table

Another difficult choice is best resolved by waiting. The trump lead is reasonably safe, and you can decide which side suit (if any) to lead later.

TopMain

© 2000 Richard Pavlicek