Saturday, 4 September 2010

The other day I was watching the fabulous Johnny in action. What a man ! So up comes this hand where Johnny was dealt : xxxx....xx....KQ109xxx.....(void ). His RHO opened a biggy 2C starting an auction in which The Supremo and his partner passed throughout. LHO responded 2D and 2H came back on his right. But when responder bid 3C, this caused the opener to get really excited. He launched straightaway into a 4NT blackwood enquiry, which confirmed one Ace from partner. The 7NT bid ended the auction.......with Johnny on lead. After careful deliberation came the 7 of spades ( 2nd highest from tat ) and dummy came down with :
Declarer's hand was : Qx...AKQJxx.....A....AKQJ
Obviously, declarer had punted 7NT rather than opting to bid the unbreakable 7C. Foolish tactic against Johnny, who had of course found the only lead to beat the contract. With the clubs blocked, declarer could only make 6H, 4C, 1D and 1S for 12 tricks. Gutted and crestfallen, he sunk into a sobbing heap bemoaning the folly of seeking outright tops. So I asked Johnny, why he led a spade if favour of the more obvious King of diamonds ? His answer was if I was addressing Sherlock Holmes himself :
" Simple deduction and logic........I couldn't lead a club.....I hadn't any......And a heart lead might have put any heart honour partner had to the sword, by providing declarer with a free finesse. So my choice was between diamonds and spades. Clearly, declarer's hand was a solid two suiter in hearts and clubs, since dummy had little in the way of HCPs except for one Ace. The chances were he held only 3 cards in diamonds and spades. If my LHO holds the Ace of diamonds, then he is very likely to have nothing in spades. Despite declarer having the Ace of spades, partner might well have KQ in the suit which makes a spade lead an attractive bet. If my LHO holds the Ace of spades, a spade lead would be imperative, setting up my partner's king, not to mention taking out dummy's only entry card in the process. So two out of two scenarios for leading a spade.
If on the other hand I lead King of diamonds instead, this could well indeed take out dummy's Ace, denying declarer the opportunity to make 6 club tricks. But if it is declarer who holds the diamond Ace, then access to the clubs is guaranteed, enabling 7NT to make at a canter. This means that in total there are 3 out of 4 scenarios that forbid a diamond lead, demanding a spade instead ".
Well, who would argue against that ..................?

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