BRIDGE

San Francisco Chronicle - - COMICS & PUZZLES - By Goren

Ev­ery bridge player dreams of find­ing a bril­liant lead, es­pe­cially if it’s the only lead to de­feat a slam. New York ex­pert Sandy Fried­man found just such a lead in today’s deal, from a re­cent tour­na­ment in New York.

Fried­man, West, rea­soned that dummy was likely to hold a strong heart suit and that her king of hearts was poorly placed for the de­fense. She led a low heart try­ing her best to rep­re­sent a player lead­ing her sin­gle­ton, and pray­ing that de­clarer had some other line of play rather than a heart fi­nesse. De­clarer did! He rose with dummy’s ace of hearts, crossed to his hand with a club to the king, and led the queen of spades. South was hop­ing that West held the king of spades. As long as spades split 3-2, de­clarer could draw trumps, dis­card a heart from his hand on the long clubs, and lead the queen of hearts for a ruff­ing fi­nesse against East’s pre­sumed king. He still had a late en­try to dummy with the king of di­a­monds.

Sadly for de­clarer, it was East who held the king of spades. East grabbed his king, con­sid­ered the po­si­tion, and shifted to a di­a­mond! South won dummy’s king of di­a­monds, led a low spade to his hand, and ruffed the 10 of di­a­monds with dummy’s ace of spades. A low club back to his hand al­lowed him to draw the last trump and then shed his low heart on dummy’s clubs. Mak­ing six.

“Sorry part­ner,” said East. “You made a bril­liant de­cep­tive lead and I was fooled.”

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