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Bridge 4/5
A minus score for a great hand
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    To end this week's columns about opening leads, here is an incredible deal.
    Look only at the West hand. What would you lead against seven spades? Would you select a different card if East had doubled the final contract?
    South, the dealer, opens four no-trump, asking for (specific) aces. If North had shown the diamond ace, South would have rebid seven no-trump. Here, though, North denies an ace, and South jumps to seven spades.
    If you trust the opponents, the diamond ace cannot win the first trick. Against seven spades undoubled, you should lead a trump. Perhaps South has a two-suiter and needs to ruff a loser or two in his second suit, and by cutting down dummy's trumps, you might kill that plan.
    But when East doubles, what does his call mean? There is little point in doubling a grand slam because you think it is going down one. Perhaps they will run from the doubled grand slam that was going down into another grand slam that makes. (During the final of the 1989 Venice Cup in Perth, Australia, one of the winning American women's team doubled seven diamonds because she held the Q-J-10-6 of diamonds, and the Dutch pair retreated to seven no-trump, making that doubled.)
    Instead, use the Lightner Slam Double. The double announces a side-suit void and asks the opening leader to find it. Now West should lead a heart, defeating the contract.
    And after that has happened, spend a moment feeling sorry for South, who picked up the hand of a lifetime and did not win all 13 tricks!
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