Opening leads competition

In each of the following hands, select a lead. The auctions in 1-6 are uncontested, while 7 8 are round the table. Entries should be submitted to either editor before the end of March. Based to some extent on a concensus view, our judges will award seven marks for the choice of lead, and a further three for reasoning (which should not be unnecessarily long - a one word explanation may suffice!). Feel free to comment if the form of scoring (or vulnerability) matters.

1. Q1053 Q92 K108 AQ10 Pairs, love all. 1h-1s-1NT. The 1NT rebid shows 12-14, and opponents open the higher of two four card suits.

2. J53 J873 A1087 Q7 Pairs, unfavourable. 1s-4s.

3. 43 K84 J74 J10974 Pairs, game all. 1s-2h, 3d-3s, 4d-4h, 4NT-5s, 5NT-6d,6s. 3d was alerted as possibly short, 4d as a cue bid. 5s showed three aces.

4. Q73 QJ82 A1084 K4 Pairs, unfavourable. 1h-1s, 3h.

5. 742 5 9853 AQ1074 Pairs, love all. 1h-2d, 2s-3h, 4h.

6. K10x K9865 QJ9x x Teams, love all. 1d-1h, 2d-2NT, 3NT.

7. KJ1087 5 8652 AK8 Pairs, love all. 1h-1s-2d-P, 3NT.

8. 854 J972 2 AKQJ2 Pairs, unfavourable. 1s-P-2d-X, 3d-3d-4s-5d, 5s-P-P-6d, X.

The results are here.