Winning Suit Contract Leads
An Honors eBook
by: David Bird and Taf Anthias
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COMPUTER ANALYSIS OF OPENING LEADS
Winning Notrump Leads was a ground-breaking and very well-received book that
used the power of computers to determine which opening leads work best
against a variety of auctions at notrump. Using enhanced software, the
authors now turn their attention to suit contracts. They generate millions
of random deals, retaining those that match the chosen auction, for example
1S-2S-4S. By playing these deals automatically against each of the 13
possible opening leads from a given hand, they are able to discover which
lead is most likely to beat the contract (also the best lead at matchpoint
pairs). The authors provide insightful commentary to each result, answering
timeless questions such as:
* When should I lead a trump?
* When is a doubleton a good opening lead?
* Should I lead differently against a partscore?
* Should I make an aggressive or a passive lead?
* Should I lead an ace against a small slam?
* Which leads work best against a grand slam?
By using the number-crunching computer power available nowadays, there is no
longer any need to rely on general opening-lead guidelines passed down by
our ancestors. We think you will be surprised by many of the discoveries
made during this investigation!
All serious players should read this and the authors’ previous volume and think about the conclusions they reach. Already a number of experts in Australia and elsewhere have changed their leading habits. — Australian Bridge 03/25/2014
David Bird and Taf Anthias, who previously challenged traditional ideas about opening leads against notrump, have turned their attention to leading against suit contracts.
Bird and Anthias focus on frequently- occurring families of auctions. They start with uncontested auctions to game or partscore, where the opponents have bid only one suit. Then, they move on to simple competitive auctions, before considering more complex auctions, where the opponents bid more than one suit, make a splinter or preemptive raise, or open one notrump; or where partner opens with one of a suit. They also analyze leads after simple auctions to reach small and grand slams. As well, different kinds of leads are assessed: singletons, doubletons and trump leads, to determine whether there are specific types of auctions where these are more likely to succeed or fail.
Some of the conclusions endorse expert practice. For example, leading your singleton is shown to be best the vast majority of the time, as is leading a trump when you have declarer’s second suit under control. Other situaitons are controversial, especially preferring passive leads from weak holdings to leading away from an honor, and the success of leading from low doubletons. Aware that these will be surprising, the authors offer as an explanation the analogy of declarer’s practice of leading up to rather than away from honors. Slightly less controversially, the authors conclude that trump leads are rarely right except in a few obvious situations or when everything else is worse. — David Morgan, The Bridge World 08/27/2013
The follow-up book to ‘Winning Notrump Leads’, and just as interesting. — ACBL Bulletin 07/11/2013
Like its companion volume on no trump leads, this is a superb book, an important addition to bridge literature and should be on the bookshelf of every serious player. — Bridge Magazine 04/22/2013
David Bird (Southampton, UK) is the world’s most prolific bridge writer. A seven-time American Bridge Teachers’ Association Book of the Year award winner, he has over 135 books to his name. David’s columns appear regularly in the ACBL Bridge Bulletin, A New Bridge Magazine, English Bridge, Australian Bridge and other periodicals around the world. He is married with a daughter, a son and two grandchildren.
TAF ANTHIAS studied mathematics at Cambridge University. With DAVID BIRD, they carried out research and development on software systems for over 30 years at IBM’s UK Laboratories. In the 1970s they formed a successful bridge partnership, winning a number of national events. Taf moved on to the USA, where he became a vice president of Cisco Systems.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 16 September, 2013.