If they fly high, use a parachute

Times-Herald (Vallejo) - - CLASSIFIED­S - By Phillip Alder

Mar­garet Mead, who was a cul­tural an­thro­pol­o­gist, said, “Life in the 20th cen­tury is like a parachute jump: You have to get it right the first time.”

At the bridge ta­ble, when you are on open­ing lead, a fair per­cent­age of the time, you have to get it right the first time. To test your­self on today’s deal, cover the North, East and South hands. North opens one spade, East passes, South re­sponds two di­a­monds, you (West) over­call four hearts, North jumps to six di­a­monds, and South raises to seven di­a­monds! What would you lead?

This deal oc­curred in last year’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­ons Cup in Bucharest. It was de­scribed by Jos Ja­cobs from the Nether­lands. In the match be­tween Monaco and Is­rael, the same auc­tion oc­curred at both ta­bles.

The Is­raeli West led the heart ace. This con­ceded a ruff-and-sluff on which de­clarer’s spade loser dis­ap­peared. At the other ta­ble, Michal Klukowski was West. He knew there were voids fly­ing around at this nose-bleed level. What was his safest lead? The spade queen. As you can see, this de­feated the grand slam, South hav­ing an un­avoid­able spade loser. (A club would have also worked.)

In the match be­tween Eng­land and Greece, the Greeks went down in seven di­a­monds af­ter the same auc­tion when Mike Bell led the spade queen.

At the other ta­ble, North ended in six spades. When East led a club, the con­tract made. Should West have made a Light­ner Dou­ble? If he had, would East have led his sin­gle­ton di­a­mond queen? Note that West ruffs that, and East also gets a trump trick.

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