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Platinum Pairs, 11 tricks "cold" after either major suit lead
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In a thread by Jim Perkins, I made a comment "Barry and Glen were unlucky in more ways than one. Imagine playing 3nt on a lead instead of a lead. To which I got a response back saying "11 tricks can always be made after either a lead or lead. It takes a minor suit lead to hold it to 10 tricks". Eventually I figured out what it takes to make 11 tricks after a lead assuming defenders defend passivley.

As I don't know how to include a play diagram in a comment I thought I'd do it in a new thread so it becomes clear how much work is involved.

West
Q8
AK4
Q943
AKQ3
North
KJ943
1093
1072
J6
East
A1076
J85
AJ8
754
South
52
Q762
K65
10982
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
5
2
K
0
0
1
3
2
J
K
3
1
1
6
4
7
A
2
1
2
8
5
Q
10
0
1
3
K
6
4
2
0
1
4
Q
J
5
8
0
1
5
A
3
7
9
0
1
6
9
4
6
6
0
1
7
Q
K
7
2
1
2
7
9
10
5
8
2
2
8
10

I don't what the auction was. But 2nt-3nt looks eminently reasonable at any form of the game.

(Here's one variant when RHO defends passively by returning a when he wins the King. If he returns a you can arrive at an equivalent ending by playing the Queen from hand and ducking when LHO covers with the K)

Here's what declarer has to do on a lead. Guess the position at T1 and play low from dummy instead of the Jack. Take the finesse. When it loses RHO exits a . Cash all the minor suit winners. In the five card ending you're down to Q8 A4 - 3 in hand. Dummy has AT7 J8 - - . LHO is KJ9 93 - - . RHO is 52 Q7 - T.

Play Q from hand and duck when LHO covers it. LHO can not return a as the suit is frozen. So choosing the lesser of the evils, he exits a . You finesse the Ten. A now squeezes RHO in and . That's "all" it takes.

Now lets see what it takes to make 11 tricks after a lead.

West
Q8
AK4
Q943
AKQ3
North
KJ943
1093
1072
J6
East
A1076
J85
AJ8
754
South
52
Q762
K65
10982
W
N
E
S
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
3NT West
NS: 0 EW: 0
4
6
2
8
0
0
1
3
2
J
K
3
1
1
6
4
7
A
2
1
2
8
5
Q
10
0
1
3
K
6
4
2
0
1
4
Q
J
5
8
0
1
5
A
3
7
9
0
1
6
Q
K
A
5
2
1
7
5
2
A
3
0
1
8
9
9
7
6
0
1
9
3
J
10
10
3
2
9
11

Not that this is easy either, but just easier.

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