BRIDGE

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The Independent Culture
Flashy opening leads undoubtedly cost in the long run, but their occasional success means players keep trying them. Mind you, there was a certain logic behind West's efforts on this deal.

North opened One Heart, South responded One Spade, and North rebid Three No-trumps. A pass would have worked well but South persevered with Four Spades. West, on lead, was practically certain that North held the king of hearts and he chose the queen of hearts for his opening salvo. Not unnaturally, declarer played low from dummy and West continued with the jack. When this held, he had the final gall to follow with the ten!

Hoping that the ace of hearts would fall from East on this round, declarer yet again played low from the table but - no joy. Never mind, thought South - I now have a 100 per cent play for my contract. After drawing trumps in two rounds, ending in dummy, he confidently led the king of hearts. His plan was to discard a diamond after East had played his supposed ace of hearts to leave him on lead and in a position where any lead would give South his 10th trick.

Oh dear. East showed out. Now there was nothing to be gained by discarding and, after ruffing, declarer successively tried finesses in the minor suits. Both failed, as did the contract.

All credit to West, but (while it worked this time), leading away from aces against suit contracts should be stamped with a Government Health Warning.

LOVE ALL: dealer North

North

] A J 4

_ K 7 5 3

+ A Q 6

[ A J 7

West East

] 8 2 ] 5 3

_ A Q J 10 _ 9 8 4

+ 10 7 4 + K J 9 3

[ 9 6 4 3 [ Q 10 8 2

South

] K Q 10 9 7 6

_ 6 2

+ 8 5 2

[ K 5

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