Bridge Problem 32


K 8 5
A 4
K 10 9
A J 8 7 5
A 10 9 6 3
6 2
7 6 4
9 6 4
Q 7 2
8 5 3
5 3 2
K Q 10 3
J 4
K Q J 10 9 7
A Q J 8
1 NTPass3 Pass
3 NTPass4 Pass
4 Pass5 Pass
6 PassPassPass
Problem: What is the killing lead?
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The legendary Terence Reese once said: "There are no blind opening leads, just deaf opening leaders!" If we only look at the auction and the West hand, the devastating lead can be found. Obviously South has a very distributional hand. Although the strength of the North hand is unknown from the auction, one thing is clear: a lot of controls are going to appear in dummy.
The most revealing bid was South's raise to 5 . With a high-card control in either of the unbid suits, South would surely have made a cue-bid. Without first-round control in one black suit and second-round control in the other, North would have passed 5 . West could expect declarer to hold at least 10 cards in the red suits. It was almost a certainty that the king of spades and ace of clubs would appear in dummy. It seemed to West that the best chance was to find partner with the queen of spades. Therefore West led the six of spades. Imagine declarer's predicament: since it was highly unlikely that West, defending against a slam, would underlead an ace, declarer decided to play low from the table. East was surprised to find that the queen won the first trick. East returned a spade: down one!
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