Source: Ocala Star-Banner – 21 Feb 1963 By Oswald Jacoby

When should a defender lead an intermediate card rather than fourth best of a long suit?

One occasion is when he has an intermediate sequence such as queen-ten-nine-eight. Most players know this lead, but very few know what I call the “bracket” lead.

North Dealer, Vulnerable None

Lead: Heart SuitJ

East, wins the first trick with the king of hearts. It doesn’t require great study to see that his side needs two diamond tricks to beat the contract and that the only way to get two diamond tricks is to attack the suit right away while he still has his ace of trumps.

If East leads his fourth best diamond it won’t do him a bit of good to attack the suit. South will play the five spot and West will have to play his king. Then when West returns a diamond South will have two good diamonds.

If East wants to beat the hand he must lead the ten of diamonds and bracket dummy’s nine. If South plays the ace, East will get in with the ace of spades and the defense will cash two diamond tricks.

If South plays low the ten will hold the trick and if South plays the jack, East will take his king and return the suit, whereupon East will be able to cover the diamond played from dummy and eventually make a second diamond.