# Tempo (bridge) - Examples

Examples

 Example 1 ♠ A K Q J ♥ x ♦ x x x x ♣ x x x x ♠ x x x x N W E S ♠ x x x x ♥ x x x x ♥ x x x x ♦ A K Q J ♦ x ♣ x ♣ A K Q J ♠ x ♥ A K Q J ♦ x x x x ♣ x x x x

In this extreme example, whoever leads first will take the first 8 tricks, regardless of the denomination. That means that neither side can make any contract, and every contract will fail by at least two tricks—the advantage of having on opening lead makes a three-trick difference.

 Example 2 South in 4♠ ♠ J 10 7 5 4 2 ♥ J ♦ A Q 3 ♣ J 7 6 ♠ K 6 N W E S ♠ 9 ♥ A K 8 4 ♥ 7 6 5 3 ♦ 8 5 2 ♦ K J 10 4 ♣ K 7 5 4 ♣ 10 8 3 2 Lead: ♥A ♠ A Q 8 3 ♥ Q 10 9 2 ♦ 9 7 6 ♣ A Q

Keeping initiative—gaining tempo—by not taking a finesse can be decisive to prevent the opponents from developing defensive tricks.

Against South's 4♠ west leads the ♥A (indicating the king) and continues with the ♦8. The opening lead, although natural, was unfortunate, as it gave the declarer a tempo to develop heart tricks for himself. However, it is now essential not to take the diamond finesse so as not to lose tempo. South must take the ♦A and play to the ♠A, again refraining from finessing. Now, the declarer can lead hearts for ruffing finesse and discard diamonds until West covers with the ♥K, then ruff and cross over to ♣A, again refusing to finesse. On the remaining hearts, all diamonds including the queen are discarded. In total, the declarer loses one trick in trumps, hearts and clubs each.

Note that a diamond opening lead sets the contract, as it doesn't give the tempo in hearts to the declarer: the declarer must lose a heart and two diamonds before he sets up the hearts for diamond discards; the trump king is the fourth trick for the defense.