There was an exciting finish in the Northern Eastern Festival Swiss Pairs this year. Alan Mould and John Holland were tying for first place with one board to play.
John Holland picked up the hand below and had to find an opening lead after the opponents had finished in three spades.
Game All pairs Dealer North
Three hearts by East was a game try.
Choose your lead and then scroll down to see the full deal.
John Holland led a club, reasoning that a heart might cost a trick if East held the jack and West the ace. He thought it was a toss up as to which minor to lead.The reason a minor suit lead works is quite subtle.
In practice a club worked, holding the contract to nine tricks which was enough to get an above average score on the board and finish one VP ahead of second place.
On the lead of the heart king, declarer will win, draw trumps and play another heart. North is then caught in a Morton fork position. If he plays the queen, dummy's ten will be an extra trick for declarer, but if he plays low South will be endplayed to lead away from an honour in a minor. If North leads either minor originally this prevents West from endplaying South.
Thanks to John Holland for reporting this hand