Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Your Lead

Jason and I defended a hand in Boston that was interesting from the perspective of both defenders. Sadly, it was in one of the regional knockouts and not the Blue Ribbon final. Maybe next year. After polling several people, I decided it is most interesting as a lead problem. Take my cards as West here:
N/S game
KJxxx
xx
Qx
Axxx
South, the dealer, opens 3 Hearts and is raised to 4 by his partner. What is your lead and why?

Hopefully I'll get a few more posts from the tournament up in the coming days and weeks.

7 comments:

kennyz said...

the A of D, mostly because it just feels right. I usually lead aces when declarer has preempted - he rarely has the K and it gives me a chance to survey the dummy and get a signal before deciding on a defensive plan. Anything could be right.

kennyz said...

sorry, obviously I meant the ace of clubs.

Memphis MOJO said...

I think I'd go for the spade King. Your spade suit is longer than your clubs. Also, ifit holds, declarer may put on you spade A/K and when you underlead your ace of clubs, he'll go wrong.

I'm not crazy about the queen of diamonds -- I'd like to try and see dummy first (diamonds may be dummy's long suit)

kennyz said...

K of spades is certainly an inspired lead. I like those :) If I did it, dummy would come down wiith QXXXXXX and the trick would go K X A ruff.

Becker said...

Thanks for the comments guys. Actually both of you will be okay on this hand. The main thing I learned was that when I hold a hand like this after a preempt where dummy is likely to be strong but isn't well-defined, it is a good idea to try to hold the lead at trick one. I know that our side doesn't have a trump trick (unless partner has the ace) and that a passive defense is unlikely to be best. Thus it's a good idea to hold the lead, get a look at the dummy and lead through it at trick 2. In this case dummy had:
QTx
Jxx
AJTxxx
Q
and declarer's hand was
xx
AKQxxxx
xx
xx
After trick one it is much easier to find the diamond shift from my side. I actually led a low spade giving my partner a nearly impossible problem (he had to lead a diamond right away from kxx into dummy's strong suit). My counterpart at the other table led the ace of clubs and shifted to the queen of diamonds--a nice defence and a well-earned swing for their side.

kennyz said...

hmm, couldn't partner have just shifted to a safe-looking club?

Becker said...

i guess that's true, most people i asked played a trump, which is what my partner did, but playing a club doesn't seem like it could hurt and keeps more options open.