Our thanks to Canadian expert John Carruthers, who was sitting West, for bringing this deal to our attention. It is from a Canadian Seniors team competition.
Carruthers did not think there was much future for the defence in leading clubs and he found the inspired lead of a heart. The two is a better lead against a slam, according to Carruthers, as the king should only be led from a singleton or from king-queen. That way, partner can overtake the king if he has the ace and return the suit, knowing that you can win the second trick. Well done for any heart lead, as only a heart lead could defeat the slam. Nice lead!
At the other table the West player, remarkably, passed as dealer. It went one spade, pass, one no trump and, believe it or not, West passed again. North jump shifted to three diamonds and South, holding a hand that was brimming with slam potential, made a splinter bid of five clubs. North, alas, was not on the same wavelength and passed. West, showing no imagination in his card play, led a pedestrian 10 of spades. Declarer took one trick in every suit for down seven!
West’s remarkable passes at his first two turns led to his getting to defend a contract holding eight pretty good trumps. He may never bid again.