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All comments by Okan Zabunoglu
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I think it boils down to answers to these questions:
(1) Would partner bid like this if he had a big honor?
(2) Would South bid like this if he did not have both big honors?
(EDIT: This has been a repeat of what Steve Bloom said, anyway…)

It is pretty sure that the answers are NO.
Then, final questions: Should partner's Q discard significantly affect our answers above?
Also in effect, is it a matter of trusting partner?

That depends on the partnership approach of course.

Leaving that behind, let's say we ducked another round of s, and declarer started to play on s. So, we ruffed the third . Now I guess playing a small is the only chance to set it (maybe risking 1 IMP, though)?

NOTE: Ducking another round of s is an excellent idea, if one is not adequately sure.
Dec. 27, 2016
Okan Zabunoglu edited this comment Dec. 27, 2016
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Ray: If declarer has AKxxx, which is very likely from the bidding, partner can never get a NATURAL because dummy's two s go away on the s.

NOTE: I gave the UDCA agreement only to make the things complete. IMO, the signals do not matter much here since West can never ask for s, and everybody knows that he has s. The question is: How to reach those s (to get one trick only)?
Dec. 27, 2016
Okan Zabunoglu edited this comment Dec. 27, 2016
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Thank you all for your votes and comments (already in and still to come).

I don't know whether I should be glad that a good majority voted for my play at the table, or not.

Yes, I cashed a and played . As a result, my team won 1 IMP, since at the other table 4 was played by North (always making 5) and additionally (at our table) my partner made a good lead. However, later at the restaurant, while talking to my buddies, I regretted not playing a small .

IMLO (In My Later Opinion), the setup was perfect for a small play. Declarer's hand was almost an open book, and he (the one who played K to the first trick) could easily have given 7 from 75 to the same trick.

What the heck! Say that I played a small and declarer won with 6, wouldn't it be worth seeing the reaction of all the others at and around the table, at the cost of 1 IMP?

In this context, I still consider it a missed opportunity (for the fun of the game).

Next time, I hope I'll be in the mood to go for it.

Declarer had: AK753 KT85 76 A9

By the way, don't take this explanation as a manipulation, your votes are still counted. (YES votes are specially counted.)
Dec. 27, 2016
Okan Zabunoglu edited this comment Dec. 27, 2016
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Who said that?
IMO, partner does not need to signal for s.
His Q may be just in an attempt to tell that he has s and nothing else. Perhaps, since he led Q, he might be trying to say “I don't have the J”.
Dec. 27, 2016
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Surely, playing J on the second trick results in a different scenario, or no scenario.

Looking for two ruffs? Noo! Just trying to get to pard, so that he can get only one trick, to set the contract.
Dec. 27, 2016
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Well, K was butchered, wasn't it?

NOTE: I don't think partner should need to signal for s here, since trick(s) cannot go anywhere. Would that make a difference, if he discarded (say) 7 instead of Q?
Dec. 27, 2016
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So, you voted for a small ?! :)
Dec. 27, 2016
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Seems to me, there is no need to beg for s. Also note that partner can never show preference for s.
Dec. 27, 2016
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No. 3 would be FG fit for s. So, 2 is F1 with s
Dec. 27, 2016
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How can a declarer who undervalued K foresee the value of 7?
Dec. 27, 2016
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I would not change my original plan, either, when I saw T (or 9) from West. West's play of 4 and 2 may be from ?42. (EDIT: What I mean is: I don't mind losing to doubleton Q as long as the winner is out of s.)
Dec. 16, 2016
Okan Zabunoglu edited this comment Dec. 17, 2016
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Thank you all for your comments.

Originally West held Q 954 KQJ85 K642. He led K, but then, when in with J, put down Q. So, the rest was easy for me.

In the original deal, according to the defense that I reconstructed, it would not matter which top to cash first, since West is to win the exit. However, what if East had started with T952 63 7642 KQJ?

An additional point (as Steve Bloom touched on) might be this: When we play a toward A, if West gives T or 9, should we go for T9 tight? Or should we think that West, being skillful, produced T or 9 from T9x, QTx or Q9x?!
Dec. 16, 2016
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Yes. By this way, we go down only when East has Q third or fourth of s.
Dec. 16, 2016
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Agree.
Yet, a very subtle precaution (very hard to spot at the table IMO) still remains to be mentioned. In which order do you play s from the top?
Dec. 16, 2016
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I don't think East can have a singleton , since West showed up with three s, five s and at least two s.

However, if West did not follow the second , then we would be (almost) sure that East has a stiff , and we would succeed playing accordingly…

Even if we collect four tricks, we still lose a ; so, that line should not give up an overtrick.

NOTE: There is another (hard to spot) distribution that East may have.
Dec. 16, 2016
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An odd spot card is encouraging in its own suit. An even spot card is suit preference for other suits. Here 2 on the third was encouraging for .

By the way, T is in North.
Dec. 16, 2016
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When west is 4-2-1-6, east is 2-3-8-0; and the suggested line (i.e., not cashing K when in dummy with K) succeeds.

When west is 4-3-1-5, east is 2-2-8-1; I think it can be made double-dummy only.
Nov. 12, 2016
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Another fine point on so simple a scenario.

When LHO is 2-3-3-5, RHO is 4-2-6-1; when LHO is 2-2-4-5, RHO is 4-3-5-1; and the latter is more likely, as you've pointed out.
Nov. 12, 2016
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Michael Rosenberg: When not only RHO but also LHO has 2-3-3-5, I think, the same play is needed.
Nov. 11, 2016
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This problem turned out to be much easier than I thought, thanks to Paul Huggins for the main line and to Michael Rosenberg for the final touch.
Nov. 11, 2016
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