Source: The Morning Record – 22 Mar 1965

When my younger daughter was married last month I had a serious talk with my new son-in-law:

“Everything depends on how you start,” I told him. “Take control, and you can run things your way, (live up control, and you’ll never get it back.”

We are talking about a bridge hand of course”

Dealer South, Neither Vul

Lead: Diamond Suit7

If West leads the singleton diamond he gives up control. East wins and returns a diamond to give West a ruff, but the rest of the hand is easy for South. West switches to the king of hearts, and dummy’s ace wins. Declarer leads trumps until West takes the ace. Then declarer can win any return and draw the rest of the trumps. South easily wins the rest of the tricks. The defenders get the ace of diamonds and two trump tricks. South is in control of the hand throughout.

NO WAY

That is no way for a son-in- law of mine to act. He should assume control by leading the king of hearts. Declarer wins in dummy with the ace of hearts and leads a trump to force out the ace. Back conies another heart, and South ruffs. If South draws trumps, he will have to use all of his own trumps to do so. When the defenders get the ace of diamonds they can take two heart tricks to defeat the contract. If South abandons the trumps to knock out the ace of dia-monds. East returns a heart to make South ruff again. N o w West has more trumps than declarer, and West has enough control to defeat the contract.1 In short, the control – taking: lead defeats the contract wheth-er or not declarer draws trumps.

The next time you have a’ serious talk with your son or your son-in-law, be sure to tell him to lead a long suit when he has four or more trumps.

It’s the best way to take control.

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