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So far nothing has gone your way in the national pairs final and now it really looks like getting even worse.

You hold the following collection and contribute a lot of pass cards to the auction:

West
K107
642
953
K1082
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
7NT
P
P
P

First thoughts?

West
K107
642
953
K1082
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4NT
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
7NT
P
P
P

It looks like the opponents are going to take the black aces, 6 diamonds and 5 hearts leaving you nothing trick-wise nor mp-wise. Your best hope is definitely that North holds a real opening hand (instead of the 9 count of Q and AK) so that at least some other pairs can repeat the auction.

Is there anything you can do to try to cheat the fate? What would you lead?

In an RKCB auction ending in 7, the normal lead is a trump equivalent from a bad three card holding. The auction has been very revealing. Your RHO must have the Q, most likely Qxx or QJ. You can see that both red suits break so declarer can just run his tricks.

However, from your holdings you can see that there is nothing bad that can happen in diamonds. Is the same true in hearts?

Actually, the full hand from Finnish Pairs Final was in fact (rotated):

West
K107
J642
953
K108
North
Q96
Q87
AK8762
J
East
832
9
104
Q976432
South
AJ54
AK1053
QJ
A5
W
N
E
S
 
1
P
1
P
2
P
2
P
3
P
4
P
4
P
4N
P
5
P
5
P
6
P
7N
P
P
P
D
7NT South
NS: 0 EW: 0

My partner received a low diamond lead won in hand. Next he cashed the J and A noticing the fall of the 9. He continued with a low heart and West followed low and then the time stopped (at least it felt so as I was dummy). Finally he said "sorry if I'm wrong but play the 8". So strong was his table feel based on the lack of the "safe" heart lead.

Next time when you have a similar problem, at least consider, which suit might give declarer a potential problem. Here you have the 9. Even if declarer had AKTxxx facing Qx, your partner's doubleton cannot cause any worries to the declarer.

If you chose to lead a diamond in the original problem, you might have scored one of the most unexpected tops by beating 7NT.

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