Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I hate trump leads

Playing online with the feared robots, I held:
A J 6 9 6 3 A K 6 Q 10 9 5.

My right-hand opponent opened 1. What would you do? Normally, making a takeout double with 4-3-3-3 isn't a good idea, especially with only three spades. I did have 14 high-card points, however, and defending with a robot partner is dicey at best -- get in there! My LHO passed and North bid 1. RHO rebid 2, ending the auction.

I think trumps leads are usually a poor choice. It's not that you finesse your partner, but what usually happens is that you lose a tempo. You should be trying to set up your side's tricks, not helping declarer by drawing trumps.

Some auctions scream for a trump lead, however, and this was one:

I led the K, the A, cashed the A to extract that card from declarer's hand, then exited with a low diamond.

Declarer played the A K Q and another. Partner won the heart, shifted to a low club and declarer misguessed by playing low. I won my Q and returned a club to partner's A for down one and a score of 100%. Even if declarer had guessed clubs and made +90, we would have scored 72.73%.

Maybe I should rethink trumps leads? Nah -- I still hate 'em.


  1. looks like it was your partner who bid 1S.

    But this was a preference auction, with LHO choosing diamonds over hearts and you anyway, you don't want to lead the ace of spades.

  2. @Lakshmanan: Yes, I put the wrong auction in, but it's corrected now. Thanks.