By Neil H. Timm for [button link=»http://www.pitt.edu/~timm/» size=»small» window=»yes»]Bridge News[/button]
What to lead in bridge is always difficult. However, the strategy one employs in match point play and team games (IMPS) are different.
In match points, passive leads are preferred, more successful, and more frequent than in IMPS. Why?
In match points, tricks make a difference. You do not want to give up a trick based upon the lead. The danger is less in team games.
Similarly we have been taught never to lead an unprotected ace (without the king) in suit contracts. However there are exceptions. When:
1) The opponents have had an exploratory auction and avoided a slam or 3NT.
2) You are defending against a slam contract and controls have not been fully explored or it is apparent that the opponents have plenty of tricks.
3) Partner has made a one-level overcall in the auction.
Do not lead an Ace when the opponents have bid a slam and have not used Blackwood in the auction. They probably have a void!