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Thinking Bridge: Phoenix NABC 10th Day

Source: NABC Phoenix ACBL Bulletins

Dealer North, E/W Vul

  5 4
Q J 10
A Q 7
Q J 10 8 2
8 6
7 6 3 2
10 9 8 6 2
  A J 10 9 7
A K 4
5 3
7 6 4
  K Q 3 2
9 8 5
K J 4
9 5 3
West North East South
Pass 1 1 1NT
All Pass      





Opening lead: 8

The bidding is normal and West’s lead figures to be from a doubleton. With three low spades in an unsupported suit, the proper lead is low and with a singleton, West might have led something else. In any case, East should try to preserve
communication with West’s hoped-for second spade by playing the 9 at trick one. Assuming South wins and plays a club, West wins and plays that important second spade that allows East to win and drive out South’s remaining spade honor.

Not so fast. Assume East does just that. Now a second club is led and West is in again. Now West has a problem. If West shifts to a heart everything will turn out fine because East has the top two hearts. But what if East had the K and the A?
Now it is necessary to shift to a diamond to beat the hand.
The answer is for East to make things easy for West by leading the K before driving out South’s remaining spade stopper. Now it is easy for West to lead a heart upon winning the second club. Notice that East led the K from the A-K, the proper card to lead after trick one with that holding.

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