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There is an old argument about choosing a lead from a holding of A Q 10 9 8 against no-trumps. If you think that the king is likely to be on your left, a good case can be made for leading the queen; otherwise the ten may well be better. Furthermore, should you be the defender with the otuside entries, even the ace may prove to be best of all. Is there, I wonder, a parallel to be drawn with West's problem on this deal?

South opened 2NT and showed his spades in response to a Stayman 32. Uninterested, North went back to 3NT which left West on lead.

Deciding that he would have to lead the suit sooner or later, and that a passive defence would not help, West led 48. It was not a success: dummy's ten won and without breathing hard, declarer came to ten tricks.

Can you see a more effective opening lead? A spade honour! It has all the qualities of the Charge of the Light Brigade, but it works. Effectively, with two side entries to hand, West would be hoping to find the ten either doubleton or singleton on his left instead of simply relying on his partner holding it - altogether not a bad bet!