A Costly Lead
This was Board 5 of the third set of the Quarterfinals:
This was the bidding in the Open Room in the Wuhan Cup match between Germany and Belgium:
Marie Eggeling chose to lead the 6, and she picked up 14 IMPs when the Belgian lead of the 6 proved less successful.
Let’s see what happened around the different rooms:
Of the 30 tables who played the board (it was rendered unplayable at one table when they heard something for an adjacent one), 25 reached a contract of 6 (the others playing 4 or 5). Three tables managed to play it from the West side. Let’s now see what the 22 South players chose as their lead: 12 players led a small spade, invariably leading to the downfall of the contract. 7 led a heart, 3 a diamond, making certain that the contract would be made. The only player who led the A was defending 5. Four South players had overcalled 1 themselves, and none of them then did not lead their our suit. One Pair even managed to bid spades from both sides (North contributing 3), and they did lead spades.
Are there any hints to direct one to the correct opening lead? If you want an attacking lead (and why wouldn’t you) then it’s either diamonds or spades.
On the auction as given above (and repeated at several tables), North had had a chance to double the Blackwood response of 5. Since he hasn’t, done that, there is some merit in leading spades. Which is indeed what half the field did.