Bridge - The Scotsman 17/05/13

A TRUMP lead is not always bad, particularly against a high-level doubled contract. On this deal from the National Pairs semi-final the auction became a little overheated.

West, playing a strong no-trump, opened 1D, normally at least a four-card suit. South jumped to 3H, and the pre-empt had its effect. West is not really worth a bid at the three-level, but he could not resist doubling in case partner had spades. East should probably pass this, expecting partner to have a better hand with no particular fit, but that might not work well here. South must lose two diamonds and a heart, but he will get rid of his spade loser on a diamond since neither defender can attack spades. If he guesses well in clubs he makes 3H, and East-West score very badly. Unfortunately bidding did not produce any better a result.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

East circumspectly removed to 4C, which would probably not be doubled, but West made foolishly gave preference to 4D. North doubled that with some confidence. What should South lead? A spade reduces tricks in that suit to one; a heart also gives away a trick; and a club resolves a guess for declarer. South chose a trump, which did no harm when North had such good pips. Declarer played ace and another club. North took the king and gave South a ruff. South, endplayed now, tried the queen of spade. That restricted the defenders to one spade, two hearts, two diamonds, a club and a ruff. Still, 500 was a top