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A change in fortune

Partner Tony Forrester and I had quite a torrid time early on in the European Championships in Croatia (mercifully, the other two pairs - the Davids (Bakhshi/Gold) and the Hacketts (Jason/Justin) both fired on all cylinders from the word go). Then suddenly we had a floodgate of decent results.

On a personal front, this was the board -from England-Serbia - that kickstarted a change in the Forrester-Robson fortunes. After partner opened a Weak Two in spades, the opponents sailed into 3 NT and I had to find an opening lead.

There were two contenders. I could lead my fourth highest club the sneak attack . Or i could lead the top-of-doubleton in partner's spades. I cogitated.

East Deals
E-W Vul
A Q 4
A K 10 9 8 5 2
9 7
9 2
K 3
J 4 3
A J 8 6 5 3
W   E
A J 10 8 6 4
J 10 2
Q 4 2
K Q 5 3
9 8 7 6 5
Q 6
K 10
West North East South
    2 1 Pass
Pass 3  Pass 3 NT
Pass Pass Pass  
  1. Weak Two, showing six decent spades and 5-10 points.

For Leading a club: The opponents aren't ready for it. Partner will need only one key card - the king of clubs - and the clubs suit might run for six tricks.

For leading a spade: A vulnerable Weak Two bidder should have a pretty good suit. It will be worse for partnership morale if I lead a spade and a club would have beaten it, than the reverse. Partner is quite likely to have four hearts (and certainly three), otherwise the opponents will have been playing in 4  not 3 NT, so the chances of him having short clubs (making a club lead bad ) is increased.

It was almost coin-toss. I fished out the  9.

East won the trick with  A and in a jiffy plonked the  Q was on the table. Declarer tried a forlorn  K, but I won  A, cashed the  J felling 9 and declarer's  10, and could win my four winning clubs. Down three.

An oppening club lead would have run to declarers  K, where-upon declarer would quickly scamper home with seven diamonds and the  A.

Note Tony Forrester's switch to  Q from  Qxx this was to cater for me holding  AJ10xx (switching to a low club and declarer can duck to me and I cannot profitably continue the suit without presenting declarer a trick with his  K).

"You did very well to lead a spade, Robbo" said the team afterwards. I knew what that meant. "Robbo, you made the anti percentage lead and got lucky".

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