I’ve constructed this week’s hand to get you thinking ... about thinking!
Too often at the table we make bids or plays without visualising the hands and having a clear idea of what we want to achieve, and that is not a good thing. You are vulnerable against non-vulnerable opponents and you pick up this 28-point rock-crusher.
LHO is the dealer and passes, as does partner and you are shocked when RHO opens 3 Diamonds, showing a weak hand and long Diamonds. You double for takeout and LHO now bids 5 Diamonds, which comes around to you.
Not easy now! Partner is almost certainly void in Diamonds so you could bid 6 Diamonds, forcing him to choose a suit but in the end you settle for another double and that closes the bidding.
So, which Ace do you start with to get a look at dummy? None of them! This is where the thinking comes in — you have all the points, your tricks cannot run away other than to ruffs, so stopping the ruffs is what you must aim for — lead a trump, it is automatic.
The full deal
Declarer wins and leads a Club which you win and lead another trump — declarer can now ruff a Club in dummy but then has to come to you again and you lead a third trump. Declarer ends up with his 6 Diamond tricks and one ruff in dummy — down 4 and plus 800 gives you a near top score.
Let’s see what happens if you cash your Club Ace, see dummy, cash a Spade, and then try and cash three Hearts — declarer ruffs the 3rd Heart and can now ruff 3 Clubs in dummy for just 2 down.
Whenever opponents sacrifice against me based on just a lot of trumps and distribution I lead trump, no matter what my holding.
Singleton, three small, Kx, Qx, anything at all but I lead trump. It usually works out really well.
PS, Notice that on the above hand East West are cold for a Heart grand slam.
That is what pre-empts are designed to do.