Source: The Day – 3 Dec 1983

Dealer North None Vul

K 8 6 2

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

K Q J 10 9 6 4
West North East South
Pass Pass 3
Pass 5 Pass Pass
Dbl Pass Pass Pass

Opening lead: 2

In most civilized countries you’re allowed to listen to the bidding. You’re even allowed to use your brains to understand what you hear. West, no listener, led a diamond, and South ruffed. Declarer ruffed a heart, discarded a heart on the ace of diamonds, and crossruffed hearts and diamonds to dispose of his heart losers.

South eventually lost to the two black aces.

OBVIOUS LEAD

West would have defeated the contract if he had listened to the bidding and drawn the obvious conclusions. Since North had passed originally, and South made a shutout bid, West should have understood that his opponents had limited high card values and were bidding largely on ruffing values.

The best defense in such hands is to lead trumps early and often. West should open the ace and another club, thus removing two trumps from the dummy. South would get six trumps in his own hand, one ruff in the dummy, the ace of diamonds and a spade trick. West would develop a two trick penalty practically single-handed instead of giving South his contract.