March 2009


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By Arlene Port


Two Parter this month.

#1) You are South Ė Matchpoints, None Vulnerable

Your hand is: 

S         ----
H         Q 8 6 4
D         Q 8 2
C        A 9 7 5 4 2

The bidding is:


What do you bid? 


#2) You are South - IMPS, E/W Vulnerable

The bidding is:


Your Hand:

S         3
H         A J T 8 7
D         J 6 5 4
C        8 7 3

What do you lead?


Bruce Keidan: #1 - 2c a timid 2c. I'll back my judgment that the auction isn't over, and it may be awkward to get my club suit in if I don't to it now.
#2 - D6 Trying hard to look like a guy with a singleton six. NOT the heart A, because if it gets ruffed, school is out. 

Herb Sachs: #1 Double if Iím playing with regular partner cause itís responsive. Otherwise I bid 2C. If partner gets to show extras, I bid hearts. I donít want to defend spades. We donít know whose hand it is. #2  AH I lead the A of hearts because if this gives them one or two pitches and itís the only lead to let them make itótoo bad ó it wonít be the first time. I donít want to guess on this hand.

Richard Katz: #1 - 3H I have a good playing hand and  our most likely top matchpoint score is game in four hearts, therefore I invite by bidding three hearts.
#2 - 6d - I lead the six of diamonds, as a low diamond would give declarer an exact picture. On the second round of diamonds I produce my lowest diamond.

Mary Paulone Carns: #1 - 2C.  Possibly an underbid but we probably don't have a game if partner can't bid again.  Plan to show my hearts next if I get the chance. #2 -  C8.  Declarer is 2-suited in spades and clubs.  I might need to get partner's club trick established before dummy's heart provides a pitch for declarer's club loser.  Alternate choice is a spade to protect my possible diamond trick but his suit can probably be established with only 1 ruff and I can't lead spades twice.

Steve Nolan: #1  Double.  It looks like both sides have a double fit.  I don't know who is going to buy the contract but I expect the bidding to get to a high level very quickly.   In this round I'm showing something in clubs and hearts while keeping my bidding modest and slightly vague, so that if the opponents have reached 5 or 6D by the time I bid again it will be clear that my double asks for a spade lead.   If West doesn't jump, my double should elicit a bid from partner.  If it's in hearts and the opponents pass, I'll raise to game, if it's in no trumps (or if West bids and partner passes) I'll bid clubs (up to 5C).    # 2 -  C8.   Safest lead and attacks dummy's entries.  The heart Ace or Jack might be right, but it's a gamble.   

Asim Ulke: #1- I bid 2C. Partner did not promise a club fit. Could have a big hand with spades. I shall bid hearts or clubs after partners hand becomes clear. #2 D4  I do not have a good lead no matter what I lead. It is between a trump and a diamond. I think the declarer is void in hearts. My choice is D4.

P.J. Prabhu: #1.  2C. Partner made a takeout double. I have enough to make a free bid; hence I bid my longest suit. I'm not going to worry about Hs at present. If opportunity permits (for example, the bidding continues 2D - Pass - Pass), I'll bid H's. #2.  C8. The 5H bid sounds like a void, hence no H lead; S and D leads may give up a trick in the suit. Thus C lead appears safest. Should declarer take the C8 to be a doubleton miscounting my hand, that's fine too. Declarer may hold AKQ9xx, -, AQxx, xxx and dummy Tx, KQxx, KTx, AKxx.

Florine Walters: #1 - 2HóI expect the bidding to go two spades on my left. Then I can bid clubs, which shows longer clubs than hearts. Partner will know not to go back to hearts and Iím showing longer clubs. Reason. If opponents supports spades, the heart will be3 forever lost because you canít afford to bid hearts at the 3 level. #2 - D4 I lead I am leading my fourth best diamond. 4. Iím playing right hand opponent for a void in spades. That may give him a club discard if he only has two clubs. If he has a club fit, we need to develop a diamond trick as soon as possible. Partner will never be able to read

Bill Holt: #1 - I am bidding 2H, because I might need to bid clubs over their Spade fit.  A club jump won't keep them out of 4S, and with 6 losers and a probable double fit, I'll compete in clubs next unless partner doubles them in 4S first.
#2 - 3 of clubs.  East is bidding like he's got a H void so laying down AH is apt to set up pitches for him.  But he probably has some pitches on West's clubs too.   I need partner to have a trick and him to lead the Hearts thru the presumed void.  Perhaps declarer will err on my 3 of clubs.  Who bids like this in 1st seat?

Gail Carns: #1. I bid 2H expecting to bid clubs later #2. I lead the D4. I think east is void in H

Jim Bachelder: #1 Two hearts (free bid) is enough for now. Partner should have, but does not promise four hearts for his double, so I'm not inclined to bid 3 or 4. Besides, there should be plenty more spade bidding, which will give me a chance to show my club suit later. #2 I'm leading a diamond. A stiff trump could be a disaster, the Ace of hearts could get ruffed and build 1 or 2 pitches for declarer and partner didn't double the club Q so I'm not leading a club either.

Trudy Cohn: #1 DBL My bid is double which I expect my partner to read as responsive with support for both unbid suits. #2 AH I have no imagination and will lead the heart ace hoping

Auxiliary Experts:
Marvin Rulin : #1,  2s,
I like this better than a responsive double. I want to make a strong forcing bid. I hope partner will bid hts but if he bids diamonds I will bid clubs
 #2   H4. E may very well be void in Hts while W has the K so the Ht ace lead could be fatal. singleton trump leads often work out well for declarer. W bid clubs so we are left with hts 

NOTE: National Expert choices for Question  #1 were not available.

Internet Post Results:







National Experts: Opening Lead Question Only

Philip AlderDXMarshall MilesAH
Karen Allison3SJoan Remey MooreAH
David BerkowitzAHSue PicusAH
Henry Bethe3CGary Powell3C
Gerald CaravelliAHArthur RobinsonS3
John Carruthers3CEric Rodwell6D
Larry CohenAHMichael Rosenberg7C
Billy Eisenberg4DAl Roth6D
Richard Freeman5DJeff RubensAH
Ron GerardAHIra Rubin4D
Mary & Max Hardy5DKerri and Steve Sanborn6D
Carl Hudecek4DRon SmithAH
Eddie KantarDXPaul TrentAH
Sami Kehela4DSteve Weinstein4D
Eric Kokish5DRobert Wolff3C
John Lowenthal3SKit Woolsey3C
Chip Martel5D  

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