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Do I have a better lead?

Leading partner’s suit is naturally a knee-jerk reaction. But I urge you to think first.

Against a trump contract, I would rate the best lead as ace from ace-king, next best as a sidesuit singleton, with partner’s suit and king from king-queen about next in line. This order is far from gospel, and there other many other factors to consider*, but you get the gist. There are better leads than partner’s suit.
*Such as whether partner’s suit is an opening bid or an overcall. Be keener to lead their suit if it is an overcall, as a primary motivation will have been the lead directional value. If partner opened, however, they did so to find the best contract, not to elicit the best lead. They may have J742 or similar.

North Deals
None Vul
K J 6 3
9
J 9 7
K Q J 7 4
7 2
J 6 3
A K 5 2
9 8 6 3
 
N
W   E
S
 
9 4
K Q 10 8 7 5
8 3
A 5 2
 
A Q 10 8 5
A 4 2
Q 10 6 4
10
West North East South
  1  1  1 
2 1 2  3 2 4 
All pass      
  1. Known eight-card fit - an overcaller always has five+ cards.
  2. Known nine-card fit.

What happened
Thinking no further than that partner had bid hearts - and twice - West led  3 to the 4  game. Declarer beat East’s  Q with  A, drew trumps in two rounds, then led  10. The best East could do was to win  A and switch to  8, enabling West to score  AK. Declarer could then trump a heart in dummy, and run clubs - 10 tricks and game made.

What should have happened
Andrew’s favourite lead is ace from ace-king. This gives you a free look at dummy - you still hold the boss card in the suit. Based on what you see there, and the card your partner plays, you can decide what to do. All your balls are still in the air. Here, the correct lead from West of  A sees East signal with  8 (“throw high means aye”). West now knows to cash  K then lead a third diamond (he doesn’t know whether East will play  Q or trump it, but he is happy either way). East trumps, and waits to score  A. Down one.

If you remember one thing...
Against a trump contract, the lead of partner’s suit is good, but ace from ace-king (or a side-suit singleton) is better.

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