“What can you deduce from this lead?”

Bridge article the Sunday Night Question by Wilfried Libbrecht

This Sunday evening, it is Lucie who calls me on my phone. She has played online and shows me a very interesting deal.

Lucie: “Hi Wilou, in my teams match I played a board with an eleven-card fit in Spades and I did not know how to play the trump suit.”

Me: “Start by telling me this: what is the right play when we have eleven cards without the King?”

“Well, you cash from the top. I know that, but look: we have 26 points between us, and East has at least twelve, so he should hold the King because West is not supposed to have more than two points.”

“You’re right, normally you have to cash the Ace. It’s pretty close in fact because the probability for a 1-1 split is 52% whereas that of a working finesse is 50%.”

“Yes, that’s exactly the reason: as the chances are very similar without additional information, but East is very likely to hold the King after his opening bid, I finessed, and I went down.”

“There are several important points, Lucie. First of all, you told me it was a team match, so you just had to make sure you’d win your contract.”

Lucie: “I don’t really see what that changes. I have two Diamonds to lose and I have already lost the Ace of Hearts in the first trick.”

Me: “What was the opening lead?”

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