Page 0012

FINE-TUNING

Leading

against a slam

We are indebted to Margaret North for permission to print this article.

Freddie North died on 28th June 2009; his obituary was published

in the August issue of English Bridge.

Freddie North suit, choose a safe lead and let declarer do the queen and trumps drawn; then the

his own work. queen of clubs is cashed to arrive at the

following position:

LEADING against slams is not an exact Leading against a grand slam

science although there are recognised Try to find a safe lead. You are not trying

general guidelines which provide a sound to establish a second trick; you are trying ´ —

base – all things being equal. Before to avoid conceding one. When the con- ™ AKJ9

proceeding further, what would you lead tract is seven in a suit, if nothing else is t A

from this West hand against the final attractive, lead a trump. As the opposition ® —

contract of 7´ by South? have elected to play for all the tricks in ´ — ´ —

their chosen suit, the presumption is that ™ — W

N

E

™ Q875

North South the suit is watertight. t KJ76 5 S

t Q

´9752 1´ So, did you lead a trump from the ® — ® —

™ Void 2™ 3® featured West hand? It certainly looks the ´ 8

tKJ765 4NT1 5®2 ‘book’ lead, but let's see the full deal: ™ 10 3

®J 9 4 3 5NT 6® t 92

7´ ® —

7´ by South. Lead: ´2.

1 Roman Key-Card Blackwood ´ KJ4

2 Three out of 5 ‘aces’, including the ®K ™ AKJ942 It is now time to tackle the hearts and

t A 10 when the full layout is exposed at once

North's bid of 5NT seems to have been a ® 87 declarer has no difficulty in establishing

waste of time as apparently he intended ´ 9752 ´ 3 the one extra trick he needs. The ace and

N

bidding the grand in any event. ™ Void W E

™ Q8765 king of hearts are followed by the jack,

If you've made up your mind, let's look t KJ765 S t Q843 forcing East's queen and leaving the nine a

at the popular textbook guidelines which ® J943 ® 10 5 2 master in dummy. The ace of diamonds is,

meet the majority of cases. ´ A Q 10 8 6 of course, the entry to enjoy it.

™ 10 3 Well, that is what might have happened

Leading against small slams in a suit t 92 but this particular declarer was unlucky

It is often best to attack by leading from an ® AKQ6 that West gave the opening lead some very

honour. The thinking behind this is that serious thought and concluded that a little

you may be able to set up a winner before fine-tuning might be appropriate. Her

a vital control is knocked out. You may not like the bidding very much thoughts went something like this: ‘If the

but this is what is likely to happen. grand slam has an Achilles heel, it will

Leading against small slams Declarer wins the opening spade lead in probably be the heart suit (my void and no

in no-trumps hand, cashes two top clubs and ruffs the support from South, leaving East as a

Assuming it is a normal no-trump type six of clubs in dummy with the king of possible fly in the ointment). The ace of

hand and not based on a long (minor) spades. The jack of spades is overtaken by diamonds may well be in dummy and

even if the queen is held by either North

or South, the finesse will not be taken.

HUBERT PHILLIPS BOWL 2010 Furthermore, a vital entry to dummy may

be eliminated immediately. Yes, I think a

CONGRATULATIONS to Frances Hinden, Jeffrey Allerton, Jon Cooke, Graham diamond lead has a lot going for it.’

Osborne and Mike Scoltock. They beat Malcolm Oliver, Val Gibson, Bill March, John Bravely, West led a small diamond and, as

Atthey and Clive Owen in the final of the Hubert Phillips Bowl for mixed pivot teams you can see, with the ace removed at trick

by 2000 aggregate points. one declarer had to admit defeat when the

hearts failed to behave. Unlucky! r

12 English Bridge August 2010 www.ebu.co.uk

Index

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