• eBulletins

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.