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Subject:  Re: Poll: Pick Your Opening Lead.... Date:  8/18/2012  12:17 AM
Author:  eachus Number:  27 of 106

Sigh! The time to think about the lead is before you are on lead. Passing 2NT leaves you with an abominable lead choice for almost any contract by South. Bidding 3H and expecting partner to lead a Heart through if he gains the lead is scary--but nowhere near as scary as having to lead against 6NT, or for that matter against a spade contract played by South. A Spade contract by North (not on these cards) is made more likely by the 3H bid.*

So what happens here? 5DN is not unlikely, and a top. 4SS is possible. (In Diamonds, the QC is a likely winner as the 10C is almost a mandatory false card from 10x.)

What about slams? Six Spades should wrap. Diamonds comes down to that nasty Club suit. And 6NT? In 3NT, of course dropping the QC and making seven should be normal, in 6NT the finesse is the better line. :-( There is even a chance to end up in 6C. If so are you going to infer that West has the QC from his failure to lead a Club? Really tough. Of course, if you play 6CN, East might lead a Club. Just one more reason for West to stick the 3H bid in. Since any Heart is unthinkable. It is really nice to get that 3H bid in.

Oh, I chose to lead the JS against 3NT.

* Well people who play stolen bids can transfer, but that is a very poor use of the double here. With negative doubles partner here would bid 3S with four or five, and correct to 4S over 3NT. But 3NT is pretty scary now for North, so he might raise to 4S or bid 5D. (4D puts way too much pressure on South.)

Also North should avoid the temptation to bid 4H as a cue bid, even if it has the right meaning. You will end up in some 4-3 Spade fits, and even if 4NT by South is to play, it will occasionally be a trick too far.
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