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A Costly Lead

A Costly Lead

By In 46th World Bridge Teams Championships On 29th August 2023

This was Board 5 of the third set of the Quarterfinals:

This was the bidding in the Open Room in the Wuhan Cup match between Germany and Belgium:

Marie Eggeling chose to lead the Picche6, and she picked up 14 IMPs when the Belgian lead of the Cuori6 proved less successful.

Let’s see what happened around the different rooms:

Of the 30 tables who played the board (it was rendered unplayable at one table when they heard something for an adjacent one), 25 reached a contract of 6Cuori (the others playing 4Cuori or 5Cuori). Three tables managed to play it from the West side. Let’s now see what the 22 South players chose as their lead: 12 players led a small spade, invariably leading to the downfall of the contract. 7 led a heart, 3 a diamond, making certain that the contract would be made. The only player who led the FioriA was defending 5Cuori. Four South players had overcalled 1Picche themselves, and none of them then did not lead their our suit. One Pair even managed to bid spades from both sides (North contributing 3Picche), and they did lead spades.

Are there any hints to direct one to the correct opening lead? If you want an attacking lead (and why wouldn’t you) then it’s either diamonds or spades.
On the auction as given above (and repeated at several tables), North had had a chance to double the Blackwood response of 5Quadri. Since he hasn’t, done that, there is some merit in leading spades. Which is indeed what half the field did.

About the Author


Herman De wael of Antwerp, Belgium, has been the Scribe for the Appeals Committee of the EBL and WBF since 1997, and the Assistent Reviewer since the abolition of Appeal Committees. A frequent contributor to the Daily Bulletins, mostly on statistics and history, he is often referred to as the Proofreader Extraordinaire.