Source: The Southeast Missourian – 16 Mar 1978

Oswald: “It was customary in the old books on play to give an example of how declarer would figure out the distribution if the opening lead was a deuce. It was a certainty that the leader could not have a five-card suit anywhere if the lead was against a notrump contract.”

Dealer South. Both Vul

9 4
7 5
A 8 6 2
A Q 8 5 4
Q 10 5 2
A 9 6 3
J 9 7 2
J 8 6 3
Q J 10 2
Q 10 7 4 3
A K 7
K 8 4
K 9 5
K 10 6 3
West North East South
Pass 3NT Pass Pass

Contract: 3NT

Opening Lead: 2

Alan: “Today, players have a bad habit of leading the deuce from a five-card suit, making it impossible for declarer to get that type of count. They may be fooling their partner also, but they take the chance.”

Oswald: “In spite of this possibility, South was reasonably sure that West’s deuce lead was an honest fourth best and that he didn’t hold any five-card suit.”

Alan: “The next step in South’s analysis was to count his winners and to see that his only problem about nine tricks would be if someone held all four missing clubs. Then he noted that East could not hold all four since that would mean that West held some five-card suit. At trick two South led the king of clubs. East did show out, but South picked up the suit by means of a double finesse.”

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