Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jennbridge: Lead Out of Turn

At the recent Santa Clara regional, I faced an interesting problem against a world championship pair in a pair game.

♦ A10753

I responded 1NT forcing to partner's 1♠ opening bid and we had a rather routine auction to 3NT.  As we were putting our bidding cards back in the box, West threw the 5 on the table.  As this was a lead out of turn, the director was called who reviewed the various options available to me.  One of them was to accept the lead, put my hand down as dummy and let partner declare the hand.  As the club lead looked favorable, and as it was possible that partner had a heart holding he needed to protect, I decided to accept that option.

Presidents Day Regional--Friday Eve.

Board 7
South Deals
Both Vul
♠ 9 6
10 4
A 10 7 5 3
♣ K J 9 7
♠ 10 5
Q 9 7
♣ Q 8 6 5 4 3
♠ K 7 4 3
A J 6 5 3
9 4
♣ 10 2
♠ A Q J 8 2
K 8 2
J 8 6 2
♣ A
1 ♠
Pass1 NTPass2
Pass3 Pass3 NT
All pass
3 NT by North

This club lead gave partner the timing he needed to knock out the diamond honor before the hearts were set up and he duly scored up the game.

Additional factors entered into my decision:
  • It is generally advantageous to have the strong hand declare so it is concealed.
  • Partner was a good declarer
  • There is an old adage to the effect that "he who leads out of turn doesn't know what the best lead is".
The opponents were disgruntled as they left the table.  East commented that she "knew what to lead".  I commented that "I was just following the old adage".

Plus 600 was worth 23 out of 25 matchpoints.

See you at the table!

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