The Morning Record – 27 May 1967
Good habits will save you time and effort, but do not stop to think, relying on your habits. If somebody would only ring a bell to tell us when to start thinking we would be far more successful bridge players.
South dealer Both sides vulnerable
Opening lead: J
West opened the jack of hearts, and declarer played low from the dummy. East played low also and South stole a trick with the singleton king. Now he could afford to give up a trump trick, and his slam was home. It’s quite true that East should have played the ace of hearts, but this is a difficult play. We can’t dismiss the actual play as senseless, because the hand was played in the finals of the 1965 Swedish national championships. If you weren’t looking at all of the cards, it might happen to you on a bad night.
Most experts later blamed West for the bad result. West knew that he had a trump trick and he hoped to develop a heart trick. He should have opened a low heart rather than the jack. If East has the ace of hearts, he will win the trick without having a problem. If East has the king of hearts behind the ace, the low lead is as good as the jack. The low lead will cost nothing even if dummy has the queen and South has the ace of hearts. No lead matters if either declarer or the dummy has a singleton heart. If South has A-x of hearts with Q-x In the dummy, he will surely put up dummy’s queen when a low heart is led. and then East will make good use of his king. If somebody had rung a bell. West might have abandoned habit in choosing the right heart to lead.