Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Is the Opening Lead a Flip of a Coin?

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Is the Opening Lead a Flip of a Coin?

Article excerpt

John Scalzi, a former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, said, "I tell people the first time I decided to write a novel ... I basically flipped a coin to see if I was going to write science fiction or if I was going to do a crime novel."

Sounds a tad unlikely, doesn't it? Similarly at the bridge table, you might be faced with a decision that seems to be no better than a coin toss, but usually there is a clue as to why you should choose heads rather than tails, or vice versa.

Look at the West hand in today's diagram. Should he lead the diamond eight (heads) or club eight (tails) against six hearts?

In the auction, South was right to open two clubs with 10 winners, despite only 19 points. I also strongly approve of North's two-spade response, showing at least a five-card suit and eight or more points, to tell partner that it is a slam deal. …

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