The pesky 6 of Diamonds
Posted by Mike Prescott on Sunday, 22 October 2017 at 09:02
Board 15, last round, TBIB Open Teams.
South is Dealer and opens 1♠.
With opposition silent, North responds 1NT and South's 3NT closes the auction. You have to lead from
What do you lead as East?
Having read numerous articles about leading from a reasonable 4-card suit as opposed to a raggedy 5-card suit you might choose the Q♥.
This is the full deal
On this hand, Declarer can take the Ace and after driving out the A♠, rely on the friendly ♥ and ♠ breaks to wrap up 9 tricks. Tom Jacob and Brian Mace from the Jacob team that finished 1st at the end of the qualifying rounds, did just that, no doubt chuffed that they avoided the 4♠ game, since only 9 tricks are available.
Suppose East chooses 4th best of the longest suit - the 7♦ - as the opening lead against 3NT. North takes West's Q with the Ace and drives out the A♠. East can cash 3 diamonds but North's pesky 6♦ stops East taking the setting trick with the last diamond. Again 3NT rolls home.
On the other hand, if the opening lead had been the 5th best 5♦, East, when in with A♠, could cash all 4 diamonds to defeat the contract.
In the 62 tables of the TBIB Open Teams, the hand was played 14 times in 3NT, making 10 times on a ♥, ♣ or 4th best ♦ lead. The contract went down 3 times on the lead of the lowest ♦ and once on a ♥ lead. Only one declarer succeeded in 4♠ of the 10 that attempted it. The remaining NS pairs all stayed in part score.