~A Defensive Lead Problem

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The bidding has gone (E-W pass throughout): S 1H, N 2C; S 3C, N 4H

You are West and on lead. What do you lead from
S JT98
H 43
D A542
C A92

Do you lead the J of spades? Normally the best lead available is the top of a 3-card or longer sequence. Let’s review the bidding. North bid 2C and should have 4+ clubs, probably 5; South raised to 3C and should hold 4+ clubs. You have 3 clubs, including the A. How many clubs does partner hold? Not more than two and likely no more than 1. Lead the club A and then the club 2 signaling for a diamond return). Partner will ruff the second club and return a diamond. You’ll give partner a second club ruff. Down one! How would partner know to return a diamond? Because your lead of the club 2 strongly suggested a diamond return, while the club 9 would have suggested spades. Sometimes the cards will not allow an accurate signal. You cannot do anything about that situation—but consider what partner “told” you, and only decline partner’s signal when you have a better play.

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