Leading Questions Last Part

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A capable defender chooses a lead by visualizing the dummy and anticipating how declarer will play…Try

Frank Stewart
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Source: 2005 ACBL Bulletins

Using your imagination (continued)

A capable defender chooses a lead by visualizing the dummy and anticipating how declarer will play. Try using your imagination as South in these lead problems.

To lead any suit except spades would be speculative at best, but since North is unlikely to play a part in the defense, you have no reason to lead the jack to keep communication. Lead the A. Dummy might have a singleton honor.

After you lead the A and then the jack, declarer can duck, win the third spade and run the clubs, discarding diamonds. The last club will squezze you “without the count.” You must give up a spade to keep the A and the K J, and then declarer can safely force out your A. If he finds that line of play, you’ll have to pay off; but you’ll have done your best. If North had the 10 instead of dummy, your lead would beat the contract.

East-West had a strong auction to game and both showed long suits, hence you must get aggresive. Lead the A.

If your hand were stronger and North probably had no entry, you might lead the Q. On this deal, you would put North in the picture by leading the ace.

Since North was prepared to play at either major or at diamonds, his hand is short in clubs. Lead the A intending to continue clubs.

Perfect defense will pick declarer clean: A, club ruff, A, club ruff, J, club ruff,  A K; and South still scores the K for down four. It seems South should have doubled East’s indiscreet bid.

Lead a spade, of course, but since the bidding suggests the king will turn up in dummy, lead the Q as an honor-trapping or “surrounding” play.

If declarer puts up the K, winning, North will eventually take the K to return a spade through declarer’s J-9. If instead declarer plays low from dummy on the first spade, South can continue with the A and a low spade and get in with the K to cash two more spades.

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