Source: Eugene Register-Guard – Sep 1973

It’s usually foolish for a defender to lead dummy’s long suit. That’s usually good for declarer; why do the enemy’s work for him? But there are exceptions to this rule…

South dealer North-South vulnerable

Opening lead — club suitQ

West opened the queen of clubs, holding the trick. West continued with another club, and East took the ace. East now had to look around for a new suit. East thought about hearts and dismissed the idea. South needed all of the missing high spades and at least the ace-king of hearts for his opening bid. East saw that he couldn’t afford to close his eyes to dummy’s diamond suit and just hope it would go away.

If East passively returned a heart, South could win and knock out the ace of trumps. South would then win the next heart, draw trumps and lead a diamond to discard all of his losers on dummy’s powerful suit. East finally saw that a diamond return would work wonders.

He therefore led the nine of diamonds after taking the second trick with the ace of clubs.

“Thanks,” declarer said gratefully.

It seemed that East was out to be helpful.

South won the diamond return with the ten and led the king of spades. East won with the ace of spades and led his other diamond.

This spiked declarer’s guns.

If he led another diamond from dummy, East would ruff and thus force South to overruff. If declarer didn’t lead another diamond from dummy, he’d never get back there to cash the rest of the suit. Either way, the precious diamond suit was as dead as a doornail and South was down.

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