ACBL07C – Defense: BosTon                         Ward Trumbull

                                                                                                                   Dec 14, 2009

                                                                                                                   Page 1 of 2




      If you read Philip Adler’s daily bridge column in the Orange County

Register, you should be familiar with one of his favorite defense

acronyms, namely BosTon.  Note that the spelling is very important.

It’s not Boston or BOSTON.  It is specifically BosTon.




      It is a helpful reminder on defensive leads, specifically on opening

leads but also applicable on subsequent defensive leads.  The meaning


                  Bos - bottom of something

                  Ton - top of nothing.


      “Bos” means that a low card lead (bottom) indicates you have something in the suit in the way of an ace/and or face card(s).


      “Ton” means that a spot card lead indicates that that card is the

highest (top) card you have in that suit.  Spot cards are 2s thru 10s.




      1. Opening Leads


          a. Suit contract – a small card lead indicates you have a face

                                      card in the suit, but not an ace.


          b. Notrump contract – any spot card lead could be “fourth

                                             longest and strongest” from an ace

                                             and/or face card(s).  However, it also

                                             may not be, i.e., top of nothing.  The

                                             partner will probably use the Rule of 11

                                             to figure which it is.



                       ACBL07C – Defense: BosTon                Dec 14, 2009

                                                                                                                   Page 2 of 2


Examples (continued)


      2. Subsequent Leads by Either Partner


          a. Any contract – a small card lead indicates you have some good

                                      card(s) at the top of that suit.  Now it could be

                                      either an ace and/or face card(s)


          b. Any contract – a spot card indicates your top card in the suit.


Partner’s Bid Suit


      The lead of partner’s bid suit depends on whether or not you supported

that suit.  If you did, normally you have indicated 3-or-more cards in that suit.  If you didn’t support, partner won’t know your card count.


      1. You did support


          Bos – a small card indicates a face card at the top, but not an ace.

                    If you have an ace, lead it or lead some other suit.  Of course

                    if you had touching honors in the suit, the higher card is the

                    correct lead.


          Ton – a non-small spot card would probably indicate that that was

                    your highest card in the suit.


      2. You did not support


          Goodbye BosTon – lead the highest card you have in partner’s suit.

                                          That says that any higher card(s) that partner

                                          can’t see in his/her hand or the dummy must

                                          be in the declarer’s hand.