A Lead Advice by Oswald y Jim Jacoby

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Against a slam contract your first decision must be whether or not to attack: your second,

Oswald Jacoby
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The Milwaukee Journal – 17 Nov 1975

Jim Jacoby was one of the world’s greatest bridge players. He inherited his bridge skill, from his father, Oswald Jacoby, who battled against Ely Culbertson in the celebrated Culbertson-Lenz match in 1930-31 and became one of the greatest figures in the game. The son won his first national title in 1955 at the age of 22, and went on to win 15 more.

Jim: There is an opening lead made on every hand. Sometimes it doesn’t make any difference what you lead. On other occasions it means the difference between making and losing the contract.

Oswald: Against a slam contract your first decision must be whether or not to attack: your second, where to attack if an attack appears to be called for.

North Dealer E/W vulnerable

  10 7
J 8 4
A K Q 8 6 3
J 5
 
K 4
Q 6 3
7 3
Q 10 8 4 3 2
  6 2
K 9 7 5 2
10 4
K 9 7 6

A Q J 9 8 5 3
A 10
J 9 2
A
 
     
West North East South
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 4NT
Pass 5 Pass 6
The End      

Jim: Now take a look at the West hand. You hold the king of trumps and two queens, yet your opponents have galloped into a slam. You expect your king of trumps will be a winner South has bid two, three and six spades. Where is the other trick going to come from?

Oswald: If it is going to come from diamonds your partner will have a diamond trick that will keep. If it is going to come from hearts or clubs, then you had better lead one of those suits right away.

Jim: The suit to attack in is clearly your short one. You only have three hearts. There is a good chance that you will score a heart trick if your partner holds the king. You lead it and North-South complain of bad luck. Lead anything else and they score the slam.

Lead: 3.

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