From the desk of Bob Jones:


April 23, 2012

Hi All,

It is often said that opening leads are the single most difficult skill to master in bridge. That is probably true, but sometimes it is just too tough. Consider board 18 from Saturday at Jourdan’s:

As the cards lie
bridge hand bridge hand

South’s double was a Responsive Double showing values worth competing but nothing clear to bid. East led a spade and it was all over for the defense. West won and shifted to a diamond. North rose with Ace, cashed the Ace and Queen of clubs, and led the Queen of hearts. It didn’t matter whether East covered or not. Most would not cover, insuring that they would take 2 trump tricks later. The Queen held the trick and North continued with a trump to the Ace. Now King of clubs pitching a diamond and another club pitching North’s last diamond while East ruffed with the Jack of hearts. +790 and a top!

Can East make a more effective lead? Yes! The incredible lead of the King of hearts beats this contract! North is now denied an entry to the good clubs and will eventually lose 1 spade, 1 trump and 2 diamonds. Down 1!

Did you find this brilliant lead? Neither did I!