Join Bridge Winners
The opening leads (part 1)

If one is going to look at the hands as evidence of cheating, it is meaningless to choose selected hands. Any good player or pair will take some unorthodox actions which succeed, particularly if they are having a good tournament. If you choose the right hands, you could make a strong case that any pair is cheating.

In order to do it properly, one must look at all the hands. It is necessary to decide what information would have been signalled on a hand, what the partner would likely have done without that information, and what he likely would have done with that information. If the decision would probably have been different with the information from a signal and if a pair is consistently making the right decision in this situation, that is an indication that something is wrong.

The most straightforward thing to examine is the opening lead. This avoids judgment and hand evaluation, which can be quite subjective. It also avoids deep knowledge of the bidding system of the pair in question. It is usually clear what opening lead is preferred from the point of view of the partner of the opening leader, or when he really has no preference. Since the opening lead may make or break the contact it is always potentially important, so any cheating pair will be striving to always make the opening lead which looks best given the information which is available to them.

I have documented all of the deals where Wladow-Elinescu were on opening lead in the knockout stages of the Senior World Championship which I was able to get from the BBO vugraph archives. I have included every such deal except for a couple where the bidding record was incomplete. There are close to 100 documented deals, which is a decent sample size.

On many of these hands, it will be irrelevant. The opening leader may have an obvious lead from a KQJ sequence which he would lead regardless of his partner's signal. But there are plenty of hands where the best opening lead does not jump out.

In order to avoid any bias, this material will be presented to the Bridge Winners readers in 3 parts. First, you will look at the hand of the partner of the opening leader. You will get the bidding (I try to describe what the bids mean as best I can, although that will sometimes be incomplete), and the information as to whether or not partner is balanced and if he is not balanced what his short suit is (since this information presumably is available). You will then determine which suit you would signal partner to lead if you were permitted to give such a signal. It might be that you choose not to signal when you don't have a clear preference -- that will also be of value to partner.

In order for you to have a completely unbiased opinion, I suggest you write down your answers for each hand. In a few days I will post the hands again, but this time from the opening leader's point of view, and you can then judge what opening lead you would have made with no illegal information. And then a few days after that I will post the hands again from the opening leader's point of view, this time including the illegal information, and you can judge if this would change your opening lead. Then you can see the opening lead which was actually made.

You can also enter your choices at:   http://bridge-hand-player.appspot.com/kit_woolsey_opening_leads_part_1.html    Everybody's choices will be collected there, which should be great for getting concesus on what would be signaled for and what would be led.  I recommend doing this. 

 

 

Finals segment 6

Board 18

North
KJ4
Q65
AKJ93
KJ
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
X
2
P
P
P

1NT: 14-16

2: Transfer

Partner balanced

 

Board 19

South
J6
A10854
1096
K65
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 20

North
10853
J3
AQ43
J85
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

1: Strong

1: 0-7

Partner balanced

 

Board 21

North
KQ3
J3
108432
J102
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

1: Strong

Partner balanced

 

Board 23

North
864
6532
AK73
87
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

1: 11-15 2+ diamonds

Partner balanced

 

Board 28

South
Q
J1087
AJ1054
K65
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

1: 11-15 2+ diamonds

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 29

North
107
Q6
10632
KJ1084
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 31

South
K52
A654
93
KJ103
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
X
P
2
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Finals segment 5

Board 2

North
9864
KQ105
94
AQ3
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner short spades

 

Board 3

South
75
QJ86
J10952
72
W
N
E
S
P
1
4
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
P
P

Partner short spades

 

Board 4

North
J42
K1092
87
K1062
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 5

North
K6
10
AQ962
KQ864
W
N
E
S
1
1
1
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 7

South
J73
J952
Q109
965
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
1NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 8

North
1076
865
A543
Q97
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
2
3
P
4
P
P
P

2: Hearts and a minor

Partner short spades

 

Board 11

South
KJ96
A2
Q53
AQ98
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
X
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

1: Strong

1: 0-8

2: 5+ diamonds, 4 hearts

Partner balanced

 

Board 12

South
5
8732
109843
764
W
N
E
S
1
3
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
6
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 13

North
KJ7542
95
Q10985
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
2
3
3
4
4
P
P
5
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Finals segment 3

Board 4

North
K87
Q
KQ10653
973
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
P
2
P
4
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 5

North
J1064
10653
QJ964
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
5
P
7
X
P
P
7NT
P
P
P

4: RKC hearts

Partner short hearts

 

Board 9

South
A3
632
J10532
AK9
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

2: Relay to 2 for invite

Partner balanced

 

Board 10

North
Q942
K943
1082
A6
W
N
E
S
2
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 11

South
975
Q4
72
J109743
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
X
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

3: 4 hearts, 5 spades

Partner short clubs

 

Board 12

North
98
A54
J1094
QJ52
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

1: 11-15 2+ diamonds

2: Relay to 2 for invite

Partner balanced

 

Board 13

North
A943
K873
932
65
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
X
3
5
X
P
P
P

1: 11-15 2+ diamonds

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 16

North
J
A85
AJ10742
Q82
W
N
E
S
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
3
X
P
P
P

2NT: Both minors or 6+ diamonds

3: Pass or correct

Partner short spades

 

Finals segment 2

Board 18

North
943
Q75
Q9542
43
W
N
E
S
1
1
2
2
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

1: 11-15 2+ diamonds

Partner balanced

 

Board 20

South
9853
Q872
J9843
W
N
E
S
1
2
4
P
P
P

Partner short clubs

 

Board 22

South
J6
76542
A9754
7
W
N
E
S
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
4
P
4
P
4
P
P
P

2: Short diamonds

3: Minimum

3NT: 4-4-1-4

4: Forces 4, planned signoff

Partner balanced

 

Board 23

South
83
AJ85
J8632
Q4
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 24

South
AQ10864
3
K2
10653
W
N
E
S
1
P
4
P
P
P

4: Not necessarily preemptive

Partner balanced

 

Board 30

North
Q10
K1085
542
K1054
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 31

North
Q10986
982
KQJ53
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
P
3
X
3
P
4
P
P
P

3: Puppet Stayman

Partner balanced

 

Semi-finals segment 6

Board 18

North
J843
85
Q1095
J103
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 21

South
Q765
93
AKJ9653
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
2
X
3
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 23

South
AKQ765
J6
982
J7
W
N
E
S
2
P
P
3
P
3
3
4
P
P
4
P
P
5
X
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 24

South
Q632
K104
A95
AK2
W
N
E
S
3
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 26

North
Q98765
Q832
8
QJ
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 28

South
4
QJ762
AQ65
532
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
X
3
5
P
5
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 30

South
5
853
KQ764
J1087
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
4
X
XX
P
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Semi-finals segment 5

Board 1

South
9
AQ8754
A7
J1096
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
1
X
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 2

South
KJ2
986
J92
A986
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 3

North
A73
1086
J4
AJ1065
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
2
2
P
2NT
P
P
P

Partner short clubs

 

Board 4

South
AQ
107532
108
QJ76
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 10

North
QJ105
63
A8
QJ1073
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
2
X
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner short spades

 

Board 14

North
Q5
J732
AK8762
Q
W
N
E
S
1
P
2
3
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 15

South
97
1094
J9852
K95
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Semi-finals segment 3

Board 4

North
432
Q9762
Q
10975
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
2
X
2
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 8

North
1074
A107532
96
74
W
N
E
S
1
P
1NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 9

North
85
KJ943
J6432
J
W
N
E
S
P
P
2NT
X
5
P
P
X
P
5
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 11

South
AJ10
83
J1042
10983
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
X
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 13

South
108
QJ
A874
Q9864
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1NT
2
P
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
P
P

2: 1 major

Partner short clubs

 

Board 14

South
Q9
AQ84
A73
AQ103
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
P
P
X
P
P
XX
P
2
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 16

South
842
QJ62
KQ97
72
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Semi-finals segment 2

Board 18

North
K96
86432
87532
W
N
E
S
1
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
4
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 19

North
3
AK72
A962
6532
W
N
E
S
1NT
2
2
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

2: spades

Partner balanced

 

Board 22

South
QJ2
10543
KQ85
107
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 24

North
K10872
Q65
A8
976
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
2
3
P
P
3
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 25

North
KQ75
K532
J3
KQ2
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

2: majors

Partner balanced

 

Board 29

North
K103
106
K10985
754
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 30

South
6543
1082
J42
AK9
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 32

South
AJ83
K85
Q105
K87
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

Quarter-finals segment 6

 

Board 19

South
A
K9742
983
Q986
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

3: Limit raise

Partner balanced

 

Board 22

North
AJ87
105
Q5
J9865
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 23

North
Q83
A9
AJ1072
643
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 24

South
A93
1073
6542
QJ7
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
P
1
2
2
3
X
P
3
P
P
P

Partner short spades

 

Board 25

North
K96
A9
J10953
1052
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 26

North
9
AQ6
AK106
A7653
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
1
1
3
3
4
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 27

South
QJ965
Q5
1094
Q65
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 28

South
94
Q965
K853
843
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

1: Strong

1: Spades

Partner balanced

 

Board 29

South
962
J954
A
Q10875
W
N
E
S
1
1NT
3
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 31

North
K10982
AK4
73
A75
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
2
X
XX
3
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 32

North
85
652
A10652
432
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

2: transfer to spades

Partner balanced

 

Quarter-finals segment 5

Board 1

South
AJ43
1083
Q95
KJ3
W
N
E
S
1NT
X
P
2
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 2

North
7
K93
AKQ3
87532
W
N
E
S
1
2
P
4
6
P
P
P

1: Strong

Partner short spades

 

Board 5

North
Q87
A106
10743
865
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
P
P
X
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 8

South
J102
J73
Q765
1063
W
N
E
S
2
P
3
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 14

North
A865
2
K1084
J982
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 15

South
843
J2
10942
9854
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
XX
2
P
3
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Quarter-finals segment 4

Board 18

North
Q3
J9643
8754
95
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 20

South
K962
98753
964
5
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
X
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 21

South
54
Q3
Q8764
A865
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
1
P
P
2
3
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 22

North
43
74
854
KJ5432
W
N
E
S
P
1
2
P
3
P
3
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner short clubs

 

Board 24

South
J652
10854
105
A54
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 25

North
AQ10763
Q42
J864
W
N
E
S
2
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
P
P

Partner short diamonds

 

Board 26

South
Q106
A9
10873
8652
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 27

South
Q3
K53
QJ10432
63
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 31

South
J62
K103
95
AKQ104
W
N
E
S
1
4
P
P
P

Partner short hearts

 

Board 32

North
J102
J9
AK2
KQJ105
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
P
2
X
3
P
P
P

Partner short clubs

 

Quarter-finals segment 3

Board 7

South
K1097
1065
764
762
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 10

South
Q8643
J76
108543
W
N
E
S
P
P
1NT
P
2
P
2NT
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 11

South
KJ7542
J
AK86
42
W
N
E
S
2
X
3
P
P
4
P
4
P
5
P
5
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 12

North
103
765
QJ42
9842
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Partner short clubs

 

Board 14

North
Q986
AJ3
Q96
J65
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
P
1NT
P
P
P

Partner balanced

 

Board 15

South
1075
J103
653
AQJ2
W
N
E
S
P
1NT
P
2
P
2
P
P
P

Partner short spades

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