The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -


Dealer: South Both vul­ner­a­ble NORTH Ƅ8762 ƆAKQ ƇKJ97 ƅJ6 WEST ƄJ104 Ɔ1075 Ƈ1065 ƅA542 S

1Ƈ Pass 1Ƅ Pass 1NT Pass 3NT All Pass Open­ing Lead: ƄJ

South ducked the spade lead but, per­force, won the con­tin­u­a­tion and un­blocked the hearts. He ran the di­a­monds and cashed the jack of hearts to bring home nine tricks and the game bonus, N-S +600. West had found the most ef­fec­tive lead on this deal. If he se­lects the deuce of clubs as an open­ing lead, part­ner should cover dummy's six with the eight but an over­trick will be in the bank. East can be sure that

WEAST Ƅ.4 Ɔ Ƈ83 ƅQ983 SOUTH ƄA9 ƆJ862 ƇAQ42 ƅK107 N E de­clarer owns a top club. It will be cor­rect to in­sert the eight in case South owns the king and the ten. De­clarer would be as­sured of two club tricks any­way when he holds ace-ten third.

If East mis­tak­enly puts up the queen, then South will score two club win­ners and emerge with eleven tricks.

A heart lead is safe but ac­com­plishes noth­ing where South will record ten tricks by play­ing a club to the ten. The spade shift would then come too late.

This auc­tion would be du­pli­cated at a ma­jor­ity of ta­bles where the open­ing lead would be the de­ter­min­ing fac­tor in the num­ber of tricks won by de­clarer. The se­lec­tion of the jack of spades guar­an­teed E-W an eq­ui­table match­point award.

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