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Dealer South

IMP scoring

North
65
A75
KJ4
KQJ73
South
AKJ8
KJ
A109
A652

West    North  East     South

                                       2NT

Pass     6NT    All Pass

Opening lead: 10 of clubs East follows. Plan the play.

Solution: You start with 11 top tricks and if you can force West to lead a spade into your AKJ or either red suit you will have your 12th trick. You can do it!

Strip the opponents of clubs ending in dummy and lead a low spade covering whatever spade East plays. If East plays low, stick in the eight. After West takes the trick cheaply he is endplayed in three suits. Any suit West leads gives you that extra needed trick.

Say when you lead a low spade from dummy, East plays the nine. No matter. Cover with the jack remaining with the AK8. West still can't return a spade without giving you three spade tricks and of course breaking either red suit is equally disastrous. You may not have known it at the time, but that eight of spades was the best card in your hand! It makes the contract unbeatable.

The full deal:

North
65
A75
KJ4
KQJ73
West
Q72  
Q10932  
87  
1098  
East
10943
864
Q6532
4
South
AKJ8
KJ
A109
A652

Notice that an opening lead against 6NT is quite different than a lead against a lower contract. When the opponents are in 6NT, they usually have about 33 HCP so the idea is not to set up and run a long suit as that is seldom possible, but more to conserve your honours and hope to take them if declarer finesses into you. You usually are looking for a passive lead or an honour sequence lead if you are lucking enough to have one. West, for example, would lead a heart against 3NT, but not against 6NT.