Goren Bridge Society

Great lead

Neither vulnerable, South deals

What would you lead from the West hand after this auction? The contract seems impregnable, with four club tricks, three diamonds, a spade, and at least one heart. West was Richard Oshlag, an expert from the Memphis area. He reasoned that a low heart lead might give away a trick and that South was likely to be very short in spades. Oshlag hit on the brilliant lead of the spade jack, probably hoping to pin a singleton 10 in the South hand. He didn’t catch a singleton 10, but the lead still proved to be very effective.

South captured the jack with dummy’s ace and led a low heart to his king. Oshlag won this with his ace and continued with the nine of spades. This was covered by the 10 in dummy and won by East with the queen. East switched to a diamond, won by South with the ace.

South could have made his contract at this point a couple of different ways, but the winning lines of play were way below the odds. All South needed was four club tricks to get his total to nine. He could afford to lose a club trick as long as he lost it to East.

Declarer led the queen of clubs, covered by the king, and won in dummy with the ace. He led a club back to the jack and then a third club. Oshlag won this with the 10 and led his last spade. East’s king-five of spades took two more tricks to defeat the contract. Nice lead!

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 9:06:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/great-lead/article25743596.ece

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