Hand of the Week #10

Here's a hand from the Tuesday evening game, 13 May 2008. A golden opportunity to get a top, for anyone willing to think a little before making the opening lead.

Both sides vulnerable. You have in second seat:

H 7 4
D K 8 7
C K J T 8 7 5 3

and the dealer opens on your right with a preempt. You are on lead against spades, after either 4S-Pass-Pass-Pass or 3S-Pass-4S, depending how agressive West was with his choice of opening bid.

Did you go on autopilot and lead the jack of clubs? If so, you get an average-minus as declarer wraps up an easy twelve tricks. With a moment's thought, you'll realize that it's extremely unlikely that the clubs are 7-2-2-2 around the table. Even if your partner does have the ace, you can't set up an additional trick for your side by leading a club.

A heart could work out well, if your partner has KJ or AQ behind some high cards in dummy; but the D7 is your best chance to set up a red-suit trick. Congratulations to Michael Schmahl for being the only one in the room who found that lead.

The whole hand:

Dealer West
Both vul
H 7 4
D K 8 7
C K J T 8 7 5 3
S A J T 9 8 6 4 3
H Q 6
D 5 4
C 2
[table marker] S Q 5 2
H A J 3 2
D A 6 2
C A 9 4
S 7
H K T 9 8 5
D Q J T 9 3
C Q 4

Only a diamond led sets up a trick for the defense, holding the contract to five when South comes in with his HK On any other lead, declarer can pull trumps (with 11 trumps, you play for the drop, don't finesse -- noone should be losing a trick to North's singleton king) and use his A-Q-J of hearts to discard a losing diamond.

Back to HOTW index
Back to Articles index
Back to TaigaBridge home

This page last updated 18.06.08
©2008 Gordon Bower