Source: Schenectady Gazette – 21 Sep 1953

Mr. Meek is a good opening leader. One reason is that he gets plenty of practice. He defends on more hands than anyone else, including hands where he should have bid more and become the declarer himself.

Dealer South Neither Vul

K 8 4
8 6 5
7
K Q 10 9 7 2
J 9 3
A K Q 9 7
K 3 2
A 6
Q 10 5 2
J 10 4 3 2
8 4
8 4
A 7 6

A Q J 10 9 6 5
J 5 3
West North East South
Mr. Meek Mrs. Keen Mr. Abel Miss Brach
1
1 2 4 5
Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: 3

N TODAY’S DEAL his opening was a real killer. He decided on it, by a process of elimination. First, there appeared to be no point in leading clubs. Setting up dummy’s club suit would probably he exactly what Miss Brash would do herself, as soon as she got in.

Apparently a diamond lead could gain nothing. It was likely that diamonds would he dummy’s shortest suit. As to hearts, Mr Meek had the top three cards in the suit and if the defenders had a heart winner, it could be cashed later.

That is, since Mr. Meek had a trick in both diamonds and clubs, there was no chance of Miss Brash running, away with the hand. This left only spades and Mr. Meek led the three of that suit. Mr. Abel’s queen forced the ace. Miss Brash laid down the ace of diamonds and followed with the queen.

Mr. Meek won with the king and persisted in spades, driving out dummy’s king. Now, since clubs were not yet set up, Miss Brash had no way to get away from a spade loser and down she went.

If Mr. Meek had made the “normal” opening of the ace of hearts, the timing of the hand would have passed over to the offensive side.

MISS Brash would have ruffed and knocked out the king of diamonds. A spade return at this point would have been too late. Miss Brash could have won, picked up the trump and led clubs until the ace was knocked out. Then she could have won any return and parked her losing spade in dummy’s club suit.