Leading a weak suit misleading
Eighteenth-century sibling authors Augustus and Julius Hare wrote, “A weak mind sinks under prosperity, as well as under adversity. A strong and deep mind has two highest tides.”
A bridge play by declarer that often results in prosperity is leading a weak suit. The opponents assume declarer has values there and steer clear of it. This deal occurred during the 2016 Yeh Online World Bridge Cup. Matches were played simultaneously among four teams in three venues: Beijing, Turin and Seattle.
How did Lin Rongqiang of the Chinese Contract Bridge Association play in three no-trump after receiving a spade lead?
South’s strong-club sequence promised a balanced 22-24; he rightly upgraded for the five-card suit and excellent controls (four aces and a king).
West, nervous of leading a redsuit king, chose the spade 10.
Declarer won with his jack and played two rounds of clubs. After West threw the heart six, East won with the king and returned his second spade. South took the trick with the ace, played a spade to the queen (East pitched a heart) and cashed the club queen. Declarer discarded a diamond, and West shed the spade nine.
Now South threw a curve: He led a heart to his 10! West won with her queen and shifted to the diamond king. When that held the trick, West, misled by South’s play, continued with the diamond six. This gave declarer nine tricks via four spades, one heart, two diamonds and two clubs. Then West discarded a diamond on the spade ace, so Lin took 10 tricks and gained 10 international match points when South’s opening bid of one diamond was passed out at the other table.