10th August 2016


Another deal from the National Inter County League Final, an opening lead problem this time.


 S 109872
 H  42
 D  QJ
 C  A432

Love All Teams Dealer West

South
West
North
East

1D Pass
1H
Pass 3S (1) Pass
4H
Pass
4NT (2)
Pass
5C (3)
Pass
5D (4)
Pass
5S (5)
Pass
6H Pass
Pass
Pass




(1) Splinter agreeing Hearts
(2) RKCB
(3) One key card
(4) Queen of trumps?
(5) Yes and the spade king

What do you lead ?

Solution
Since West continued to slam despite East discouraging with his four heart bid, it seems likely that the club king is in dummy.  Accordingly Michael Newman underled his club ace.  This was a spectacular success when the full deal was as follows.

Dealer West
S
QJ643
   
Love All
H
QJ
   
    D 1084
   
    C Q76
   
S
5
    S
AK
H
AK97
    H
108653
D
AK9763
    D
52
C
K5
    C
J1098
    S
109872
   
    H
42
   
    D
QJ
   
    C
A432
   

Declarer, unsurprisingly, misguessed the clubs, Michael Byrne won the queen of clubs, returned a club and now Michael Newman played the diamond queen.  Declarer cashed one top heart and, noting the fall of the jack (or queen), returned to hand and followed the principle of restricted choice to finesse in trumps.  Two down.  Note that on a spade lead, or club lead follwed by a spade, declarer has no quick entry back to hand to take the heart finesse, so would be forced to play trumps from the top.

Thanks to Michael Newman for reporting this deal