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Both vulnerable, South deals

NORTH

♠Void

♥K Q 3

♦7 6 4 2

♣Q J 9 8 7 5

WEST EAST

♠A 7 ♠9 8 5 3 2

♥A 8 7 6 2 ♥J 10 9 5 4

♦A Q 8 5 3 ♦10 9

♣10 ♣A

SOUTH

♠K Q J 10 6 4

♥Void

♦K J

♣K 6 4 3 2

The bidding:

SOUTH WEST NORTH EAST

1♠ 2♠* Pass 3♥

4♣ 4♥ 5♣ 5♥

5♠ Dbl 6♣ Dbl

All pass

*Hearts and a minor, at least 5-5

Opening lead: ?

Today’s deal was reportedly played in a rubber bridge game at the Istanbul Bridge Center in 1989. Bridge is quite popular in Turkey and there are many fine Turkish players.

Imagine things from West’s point of view. His opponents had bid a slam and he was the proud owner of three aces. Not only that — his partner had doubled, not him! What a blood bath this was going to be. West only had to decide which ace to lead. He chose the ace of hearts. OOPS!

South ruffed the ace of hearts lead and led the king of spades. West covered and dummy ruffed. Both of South’s diamonds went on the king and queen of hearts. A trick was conceded to the ace of trumps and South scored up his doubled slam.

West, we are told, wandered aimlessly around the bridge club for quite a while, muttering to himself all the time. He asked several friends if they thought it was possible to find a trump lead from his hand. A trump lead, in fact, is the only lead to defeat the contract two tricks. The ace of diamonds, instead, will lead to down one. The ace of spades lead would fare no better than the ace of hearts, as declarer would have been able to discard all four of dummy’s diamonds on his spades.

What would you have led?

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