Ross Taylor

Love that lead!

Board 29 of our 128 board final match in the Canadian bridge Championships, Judy Gartaganis was on lead against six diamonds, holding 10742  AQ75  10  9853. Keith Balcombe on her right had opened one diamond, Ross Taylor on her left responded one spade. Balcombe rebid 2 diamonds; Taylor splintered with four clubs. Balcombe bid RKCB, found out Taylor had two key cards, and placed the final contract in six diamonds. What would you lead?



Dealer: south

Vul: both

Judy G. Nick G.
10742 K9
AQ75 J10842
10 J7
9853 KQ72

Judy made the excellent lead of a small spade – rendering the contract impossible to make right from the get go. Balcombe ducked in dummy, and Nick won the king, and had to now make an accurate shift to a heart in order to beat the slam.

He got it right of course, and the pair picked up a well deserved twelve imp gain, versus the seventeen imps they would have lost had they not teamed up for this winning defense.


Cam FrenchJune 6th, 2010 at 2:35 pm


It takes a brave man to post a hand that showcases the victorious opponents.

And you are right of course, one hell of a lead by Judy.

Congrats on your team’s extraordinary performance. Watching (and commenting on VuGraph) was a treat to all. With the lead see-sawing and the match so close, it was the most dramatic VuG I have seen.

Both teams acquitted themselves with distinction.



Judy Kay-WolffJune 6th, 2010 at 5:25 pm


The above blog was no shock to me as your generous efforts are dedicated to continuing to try to make others look good and take the focus off your own

inspired plays, defense and bids.

You deserved a better fate — but that is neither here nor there!

However, if one is listening to the auction, there is no ideal lead, so the spade is the least of the evils and undoubtedly turned out to be the most constructive. Yes, it was very effective for my namesake to make the suggested initial spade thrust and her partner to win it and return the heart for the setting trick.

This is hardly a hand for a quiz on opening leads, especially when Bobby gave me the auction and hand and even I quizically asked, “what would you lead but a spade?”

Sorry, it turned out to be such a disaster for your side — but an act of genius? I don’t think so.

WackoJune 7th, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I would not exactly called Heart return brilliant either. it is obvious one loser is disappearing on spades, and it can be only in hearts.

Ross TaylorJune 7th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Keith could easily have had something like Qx Ax AQ9xxx xxx. But your point is still valid. At this level, the heart return should be found.

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