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All comments by Florian Alter
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Dummy is marked with strength in . I better cash the A before declarer discards his (s) on .
April 16
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As Alan described, this is a ruffing double squeeze(which can be played as a regular double squeeze if anything else than a is led). For further reading I recommend Love, Bridge Squeezes Complete (second edition), p.336-338.
April 16
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3. This hand must be strong enough to move on. The bidding indicates that the layout is favorable for our side. It's not clear yet which strain is best. 3 says exactly that and may allow us to rebid 3.
April 14
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Cahsing the A seems to be a poor play. What are you going to do if the K does not drop?
April 5
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Yes, I have it on Windows.
April 4
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Anant:
I don't see what you gain by ducking. Winning the king and exiting passively is the almost the same thing, with the only difference that you have scored one trick and declarer having played an additional trick in one of the majors.
April 3
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In my opinion this should show values in clubs, usually with fit. This comes up frequently and does two good things:
(a) Partner can evaluate his hand appropiately and bid accordingly
(b) It helps with the lead in case opponents end up declaring

Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBxyAZJcLRw&t=7484s
April 3
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Damian:
Strictly speaking, you're right. In my mind I excluded these layouts, since either LHO would have led his singleton or would have pitched a rather than a .
April 3
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The 10 works in that scenario as well.
April 3
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Declarers line of play suggests that we are not going to cash 4 tricks. Partner may well have the J8 or declarer AQ doubleton, leaving declarer one trick short. This indicates that we don't need to open the suit yet.

Imagine declarer holding AQx A7xx 9x Qxxx. If we play a , we are about to establish declarers 9th trick in clubs!

I feel like the passive 10 is the percentage play here.

EDIT: A small spade seems to do the job as well, since even if declarer has AQ10x, the suit would block.
April 3
Florian Alter edited this comment April 3
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Sathya:
The discard doesn't help him at all. When you lead the K, RHO will be left with two trumps and two diamonds, and will have to give you the J in the end. The only time you have to deviate from Line 1 is if diamonds break 0-6.
April 3
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Line 1 in fact is a 100% play. In case RHO ruffs the K, he will have to concede a trick to dummys J. Declarer simply failed to spot it.
April 3
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Kostas:
I use Thomas Andrews Deal program (http://bridge.thomasoandrews.com/deal/index.html). It's free and has a lot of capabilities. A little bit of coding is needed.

Kieran:
I ran the simulation again giving LHO at least one 4cM, no 5cM, no void.
Spade lead better: 34.5%
Heart lead better: 17.2%
Leads equal: 48.3%
The heart lead does a little bit better now, but it's still significantly worse. Also keep in mind that LHO may have bid differently with a singleton heart (bidding 3m instead of 3NT for instance)

Adam:
Partners failure to bid spades is a good point and it's surely an argument in favor for the heart lead. Concerning your simulation, you measure the wrong thing. With these settings my results are (1,000 deals):
Average number of tricks taken when a spade was lead: 2.79
Average number of tricks taken when a heart was lead: 2.84
Spade lead better: 28.3%
Heart lead better: 20.0%
Leads equal: 51.7%
Spade lead beats contract: 10.4%
Heart lead beats contract: 15.6%

At Matchpoints, the spade lead is still ahead, even though you take less tricks on average.
April 2
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This hand is quite different. First of all, leading from Q8xxx is much safer than leading from K10xxx. There are many layouts where leading from K10xxx concedes a trick. Another important difference is the club value - a possible entry and a value that partner does not have.
April 2
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This problem asks for a simulation. I gave LHO 9-14 bal and at least one 4cM, RHO 15-17 bal without 4cM. Surely LHO does not need to be balanced, but I felt this was an acceptable simplifcation.

For 1,000 deals:
Average number of tricks taken when a spade was lead: 2.93
Average number of tricks taken when a heart was lead: 2.78
Spade lead better: 36.9%
Heart lead better: 14.5%
Leads equal: 48.6%

This clearly confirms that the spade lead is better. A heart lead from the King blows a trick in too many situations.

Interestingly, if one changed the heart K to a small card, I would believe more people would vote for the spade lead, yet the edge of the spade lead would shrink.
April 2
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I did read both of the books and I certainly recommend them. It makes you think about lead problems from a different (and in my view more imaginative) angle.

Concerning the conclusions of the authors I feel like they are often not cautious enough. For example if one lead does better in double dummy simulations, they often conclude that this lead must be better in real life too, which is not necessarily the case.

To give an concrete example, leading aces often produced very good results. This is quite understandable, since you stay on trick and the computer will take over your hand, finding the best continuation. Also, if you don't lead your ace, declarer will know that you have the ace anyway. So in double dummy analysis you give much less away leading an ace than in reality.

Anyway, even though I think some of authors conclusions are incorrect, the books can really help you to improve your thought process when making an opening lead.
March 28
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3. If opponents bid on I can double to show a strong hand with diamonds and defensive values. This approach is more flexible than doubling first with the intention to bid diamonds later.
March 23
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Surely he could be 4144 or 4153, but since partner didn't bid 3 or 3 over 2NT he won't have more distribution than that.
March 23
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Pass. Partner has a strong balanced hand. Bidding 4NT could turn out well, but too often you will turn a plus into a minus score.
March 22
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4. Opponents likely have 8 tricks in hearts. However they may have 9, and even if they only 7 you might do better bidding on. That makes pass unattractive. A contract doesn't seem to fare well. Another option is bidding 3NT - the suit may block or West might have an holding he doesn't want to lead from (e.g. AQJxxxx). Sill, that's somewhat of a gamble.
March 22
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