Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Defensive Carding and Leads- Rusinow and Journalist

1. Defensive Carding and Leads

Upside-down count and attitude. Simply better, when you like the suit you are playing potentially key 7, 8’s or 9’s to encourage using standard.
In suit contracts use standard discards.  In suit, you can affor to discard in the suit you like so you don’t need a discard in another suit which  shows a message. Upside down should suffice. In no trump you often can’t afford to discard from the suit you want as those cards could be the settings tricks when you run your suit. So you need to discard a suit you don’t want giving preference for the suit you do need lead. That is Lavinthol discards versus no trump contracts.

Also, play Smith echo vs. no trump.  If the suit led, partner was unable to give attitude and declarer wins the trick. On the next lead partner gives a high signal if they like the lead and a low signal if they didn’t like the lead.

Playing Rusinow leads vs. suit contracts.
Rusinow: Used on opening lead only and not used when leading a suit bid or raised by partner, standard leads are then used. Generally you lead the second highest card from a sequence or third highest from an exterior sequence. Lead of below shows.
Ace:     Denies K unless A K doubleton, generally from A empty
King:    From A K, partner should play Q promising J or with a singleton, also done with K singleton, KQ or Kx doubleton
Queen:  From K Q or longer sequence or from singleton Q or Qx doubleton
Jack:    From Q J or longer sequence or from singleton J or Jx doubleton
Ten:      From JT or longer sequence, including KJT or from singleton TJ or Tx doubleton
Nine:     From T9 or longer sequences including KT9 and QT9 or from singleton 9 or 9x doubleton
MUD:    Middle UP Down a higher second card implies an odd number in the suit
UD:      Up-Down a high low implies an even number of cards in the suit (third or fifth best leads)
So top card is led from a singleton or doubleton.
We are playing third or fifth best leads versus suit contracts.

Journalist leads vs. no trump contracts with a few minor modifications.
Ace:     3+ honor long suit, asking partner to unblock. Otherwise play low for an even count or high for odd count(UDCA). Also could be from Ax but not AK doubleton.
King:    Shows A K or K Q combination but does not want partner to unblock
Queen:  Shows Q J 10 or K Q 10 9 sequence, asking partner to unblock
Jack:    Denies a higher ranking honor (Jack Denies)
Ten:      Promising at least Ace, King, or Queen and has either a ten or nine (exterior sequence)
Nine:     From 10 9, denying a higher honor
Spot:    Second highest or highest, discouraging suit continuation, like attitude. From 9x lead x
Top card is led from a singleton or doubleton except for AK, When leading a suit bid by partner you may be leading top card to retain lead, an Ace lead would not ask to unblock.
4th Best: Implies a long suit with an honor, encouraging suit continuation.

Playing 4th best leads from no trump contracts, which is different than in Journalist leads. There seems to be a consensus that 4th best against no trump, as you often can’t afford to lead the 3rd best, as it could be an important spot card.

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