Sunday, November 6, 2011

Use the auction to find the killer lead

Playing online and sitting south, I needed find a lead against 3NT.  The 2S is alerted as a long, strong suit. What would you lead?

I chose to lead the 4th highest club and it was too late now. 3NT could no longer be beaten.  The full hand is:

If you found the King of clubs, congratulations. It removes dummy's entry to the spades. King diamond would also work, although if declarer ducks, you have to now switch to the king of clubs. In the comments, can you explain the reasoning by which you arrived at the killer lead?


  1. Amazing hand! You also need to duck a heart at some point later on if declarer plays on hearts at trick 2.

  2. Ah a Merrimac coup on the lead.

    Leading the King isn't as silly as it sounds. Let's face it, by leading clubs you rely on partner having an honour to avoid giving up tricks.

    Leading the King wins spectacularly here but also on the rare (but glorious) occasion that you find a stiff Queen with declarer or dummy.

    Having said that, when it goes wrong (say you drop your partners Queen) don't expect a lot of sympathy.

  3. Daniel, you are right. Lots of times, we decide against risky, aggressive leads because the mistake that everyone makes is easier to explain. Justin Lall had a blog post about this phenomenon once.

    The reason I'd not lead the King is that my irate partner might mis-defend expecting me to have the queen of clubs. And ... this hand being online opposite a stranger on BBO, I'd probably get cursed out in Turkish or Chinese.