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All comments by David Levin
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True, although East's spade strength is bounded by the pass in third seat.
May 28
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If West has K(x)(x), then ducking at Trick 1 seems to work also. If West continues with a diamond, rise, lead the 4 to West's king, win the heart exit in Dummy, cash red-suit winners, and endplay West with a low spade.

The problem seems to be how to handle other heart layouts. If West is 5=4=2=2 with the K, ducking Trick 1 seems to still work because Declarer can duck a club shift (pitching a spade), win the next one (pitching a diamond), take two heart finesses, cash the A, cash three diamonds, and exit with a heart to endplay West.

If East has the K, then West probably should find the necessary club shift at Trick 2, but I don't see a better approach for Declarer.
May 28
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According to https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/LAD/, the closest they came was in 1958 (seventh, only two games ahead of last place) and 1959 (World Series champions).
May 27
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Page 6 includes a brief remark about a club layout where Declarer would be put to a guess.

9xx
Ax KJ10xx (x led)
Qxx
But in double-dummy analysis, Declarer is presumed to know the position and to therefore make the winning play of ducking. Therefore, a double-dummy bot in East's chair would evaluate a club shift on this layout as offering zero chance of success to the defenders.

It's easy to see how this type of error could cause a bot to fail to select the continuation that would provide the best chance single-dummy.
May 27
David Levin edited this comment May 27
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If West started with AJ-sixth xx Hxxx 9, then winning the opening lead in hand and knocking out the A would fail after spade ruff, club ruff, diamond to East, club ruff, spade for a trump promotion.

To limit enemy ruffs yet keep control, I think I should take the AK at Tricks 2 and 3 and then cash clubs. On a layout where West started with three or four trumps, if West ruffs at Trick 4 and continues with two rounds of diamonds, I ruff and continue clubs. Then

A) If West ruffs again and continues diamonds, I ruff and knock out the A. They can take at most one diamond trick before Dummy ruffs in, so I get a spade, three natural trump tricks, two ruffs in the closed hand, and two clubs.

B) If West discards on the rest of the clubs, I knock out the A, and I will score either a spade trick or a second diamond ruff.
May 27
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Kevin, it's okay to say if you hate it. 8^)
May 26
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Player/seat is given in the opening paragraph.
May 26
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I was going by the article's statement “After such a RDB our partnership agreement is that subsequent doubles are penalty.”
May 26
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From North's perspective, the KQ could have been with West instead of South (keeping the shapes unchanged) and still been consistent with the stated agreements. And North's hand doesn't seem to have an attractive lead against 2HX.
May 26
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I imagine it seemed to go quickly.
May 26
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Regarding (a), East might well have Q10xx.
May 23
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Public Service Announcement

The “code” tag (enclosed in square brackets) causes comment text to be rendered in a fixed-width font, which is handy for depicting deals. An example follows.

x
Q
KQx
---
KQ Jxx
--- K
J9x x
--- ---
Axx
---
x
x
To reinstate the default font (such as for commentary below the improvised diagram), type "[/code]".
May 23
David Levin edited this comment May 23
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According to the vugraph record, the bidding diagram contains an error: South doubled 3 instead of passing.
May 23
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I'd have thought that “time to go to bed” was defined by when the bridge session happened to end.
May 22
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The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (6th Edition), on page 328, gives 10 from Q109x or A109x, which seemed to also imply 10 from K109x. I didn't think much about the leads given, since I was using them only as an example. But my guess is that the rationale for 10 from the above holdings is that the chance of blockage, which is one reason for leading low, is greatly reduced when the leader has only four pieces.

Added: I meant the “chance of blockage” owing to Partner's holding Hx. But the possibility of Partner's holding Hxxxx is another factor in favor of leading 10 from K109x.
May 22
David Levin edited this comment May 22
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Leading a spade for a heart discard (not a ruff) at Trick 2 and an eventual double squeeze caters to West's starting with six hearts. If East were to in effect discourage clubs at Trick 1, this line seems worth taking if Declarer considers the parlay of (1) a club shift's being effective and (2) West's finding it, to be less likely than West's holding six hearts.

If West's holding six hearts isn't on Declarer's radar, then it's clear to follow Frances's main line irrespective of East's play to Trick 1.
May 21
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Declarer's choice at Trick 2 could consider East's card at Trick 1. If it's a high spade (say, the jack) and it suggests suit preference for hearts, then lead a middle spade at Trick 2 and pitch the 10. But if East plays a middle or low spade at Trick 1 and it's again suit preference (in either case, indicating the ability to stand a club shift), then cash the J at Trick 2 and follow Frances's line that aims for a heart winkle.
May 20
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The GIB system notes at http://www.bridgebase.com/doc/gib_system_notes.php don't seem to specify responses to or continuations after a 2 opener, which creates a bit of a quandary.
May 20
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Another possibly cute line is A, 8 (discarding the 10). If West fails to ruff this trick and does not or can not overtake if East continues with a heart honor, I can arrange to ruff the second round of hearts, draw trump (hoping they're not 0=5), and run trumps to effect a double squeeze.

West could prevent the squeeze by getting in early and shifting to a club (provided that East has Q-third or longer), but this would blow the defense on some layouts.
May 20
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