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Opening Lead: Ace of diamonds
Joe Diven and I were playing in the Sunnyland Sectional, which is held yearly in Grandview. Dudley Brown holds a very nice tourney and has pairs come from as far away as Boise, Las Vegas and Seattle. Joe and I were having a nice game Friday night; and in fact, we won our section and were third overall. This board helped.
The Bidding: Preempts can sometimes make ordinary bidding situations into a poker game. We were playing E/W and Joe preempted with his 7-card heart suit. I had a good hand and gambled that 4H would make. North had some spots and four cards in his partner’s suit and elected to try 4S. I had good defensive cards and no reason to believe that our side could make 5H, so I doubled for penalty.
The Play: Partner played the five of diamonds on my opening lead of the ace. Declarer false-carded with the four, but I thought I needed to switch when looking at the queen in dummy. The five looked like suit preference for a club? Declarer played low and partner won the club trick with the king. He led back the ten of clubs (key card) and declarer won in his hand, and played the top spades and a third spade. I won the queen and underled my ace of hearts. Partner won his king and gave me a club ruff for down three! It was a top board for us, scoring 500 against most E/W scores of 450.
What Happened? Our opponents congratulated us for our defense. Underleading my ace of hearts was easy when Joe returned the ten of clubs instead of a small one. Defense is a greatly underrated part of the game.