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Common Game 2015-01-31 Board 4
West
Q3
KQJ9874
KQ6
2
North
A42
3
9754
J8543
East
J96
6
AJ103
AKQ97
South
K10875
A1052
82
106
D
4
West
North
East
South
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
3
P
4
P
P
P

Analysis by Craig Hemphill

When West bids hearts thrice, East should get the message that West can handle the trump suit alone.

But can he?

If North leads a minor suit, West can afford two trump losers -- the opening lead is won and three clubs follow. if South ruffs, a probable trump trick disappears, and West has wonderful options -- he can pitch his last spade, , thereafter losing just two trumps, or overruff and lost just one spade and one trump -- making five!

On a spade lead, the defense will pocket two spade tricks and await declarer's decision in the trump suit. Finessing against the missing ten is not clearly the best, so down one will probably follow.

Opening leads are an art form -- many good players avoid leading unsupported aces unless the bidding clearly indicates doing so. Is that clear here? Certainly there is danger if the spade suit is not led, based on the bidding.

The opening lead makes all the difference on this deal.

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