Dick on Defence I

July 30, 2009 at 9:22 am 10 comments

Cummings introduced this hand thus: ‘One qualifying hand from the swiss of the Surfer’s Teams is a splendid example of team-work, a useful quality for doing well at teams. First of all, try it as a lead problem for Paul Marston, sitting West. You, West, hold:’


Dble…..All Pass

2D is Flannery with an opening hand.

I don’t think these days anybody would double, would they? Still, you are Marston, that’s what you did, and now it’s your lead.


Entry filed under: Dick Cummings. Tags: , .

Dick on Defence Dick on Defence I continued

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Chris Mulley  |  July 30, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Normally these auctions scream trump lead, but can I really stop declarer ruffing two spades in dummy? That’s likely to be all he will need to ruff.

    I would be interested to hear the trump leaders’ thoughts on this, because it was why I rejected a trump lead to try something else … admittedly something not very imaginative and, upon reflection, not something particularly good. If I am permitted to play my “take-back” card, I have been convinced by Ben to try a diamond.

    • 2. Bill Jacobs  |  July 30, 2009 at 7:41 pm

      North: Jxxx – AQ10xx – AQxx – void
      South: xx – KJxx – J10x – xxxx

      Unlikely? Of course. But at least the trump lead has a plan behind it. I can’t easily find an equivalent plan for a spade lead, or diamond lead, or club lead.

      And maybe the hearts are 6-3, in which case shortening declarer’s trumps might be a more plausible winner.

      If the trump lead destroys partner’s Qxx, I’ll be sorry. That seems to me to be the main downside of leading a heart.

      • 3. Ben Thompson  |  July 31, 2009 at 6:29 am

        It should be easy enough to construct a hand that suits any lead.

        North: KJxx AQxxxx Qxx –
        South: xxx Kxxx AJx xxx

        North: Kxxx KJxxxx Ax x
        South: xx Axxx xxxx Kxx

        North: KJxx AQxxxxx – xx
        South: xx KJx Axxxx xxx

        I doubt that North has only 5 trumps. If he had that, he couldn’t possibly know that he had better than an 8-card fit, and he should probably have been thinking more about doubling 5C than bidding 5H.

        Anyway, the risk we’re all worried about is letting the 11th trick through – which on these auctions is either by not leading trumps like the book says you should, or not taking your tricks now, like the book also says you should (depending on what hand the author is writing about).

        Oh, and I would also have doubled 5H. That’s the easy part.

      • 4. Ben Thompson  |  July 31, 2009 at 7:30 am

        Well, I said it should it be easy enough to construct a hand that suits any lead, but my club lead hand needs a little work. Maybe this instead…

        North: KJxx AKxxxxx – xx
        South: xx QJx Axxxxx xx

  • 5. Nigel Kearney  |  July 30, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Trump for me too. Agree with the double.

  • 6. Bill Jacobs  |  July 30, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    I’m with Phil. Both the double and trump lead seem clear.

    The idea is that a couple of rounds of trumps will protect my long spade trick.

  • 7. phil markey  |  July 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

    auto double – prompt heart lead

  • 8. Richard  |  July 30, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Ben is probably right, but I might go for the gusto with 2 rounds of spades.

  • 9. Ben Thompson  |  July 30, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Looks like a red suit lead to me. North is acting like a man with 4S, lots of hearts and very few clubs. Leading a club could easily let declarer ditch a diamond loser (or two). Leading a spade has obvious risks.

    I may be able to get back to hearts in time later. I’m going to lead a diamond and see if we can cash up a few fast tricks in the place we’re likely to actually have a couple to cash.

  • 10. Chris Mulley  |  July 30, 2009 at 10:18 am

    I’m afraid that my knowledge of Flannery is sketchy. My understanding was that it showed a minimum opening with exactly five hearts and four spades … not really consistent with a 5H bid in that auction. My guess is that North has more hearts.

    I think I’m going to lead a club, but I will freely admit to not having any strong feelings on the matter, probably as a result of not having any idea what is going on on this hand. Not the sort of lead that is likely to be successful in a newspaper hand …


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