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Opening Lead

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The opening lead is the least liked part of bridge. This is the consequence of the sad fact that most players lead poorly. Good players lead better than weak players, but the level of opening lead always lags behind declarer play or bidding skills. It is therefore common for many players to treat hands in which they defend with some sort of impatience. On the next deal we will bid to a distributional slam or a light game, or we will pre-empt opponents out of their optimum contract - in a word, we will perform a number of brilliant moves bringing us a lot of points or money and providing us with an opportunity to show the real strength of our play. For the time being, however, we have to defend. The contract seems cold, declarer looks as if two overtricks is just a matter of time, and so we lead through dummy's strength, or lead trumps, or the highest from a sequence, because this is what routine tells us to do. If, by some unfortunate decree of fate, in a match or a rubber game we constantly get worse cards than the opponents, or we defend more often than we declare in a tournament, we routinely complain about bad luck and restlessly wait for better hands. A much more proper and efficient attitude to prove by????? successful defensive play that it is not the cards we are dealt but the abilities we possess, that influences the result.

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