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One of the nice things about playing bridge in NYC is that I get to query some impressively strong players. So I strolled through Honors BC today with a straightforward question of the many internationalists:

How do you play Q9x opposite AJTx?

Not surprisingly, the answer was run the 9. Well maybe not always. Here in yesterday evening's common game:

West
AJ106
AKQ98
6
952
North
75
1062
QJ53
AK76
East
Q92
743
A8742
J10
South
K843
J5
K109
Q843
D
8

the contract was some number of hearts, played by W, and the defense began A, K, 3. After winning the A, declarer ran the 9. When this won it was apparent that declarer held AJTx. On the Q lead it is clear to duck. However he chooses to continue, declarer can not avoid a third loser. 

But what should S do if instead of the 9, the Q is led? Here he must duck twice, but not if West's hand is instead: AJ6 AKQ98 65 952.

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