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.”