Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Wesley Suzuki
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10 Tricks seems like a normal target. How about winning Ace, cash King, then four rounds of clubs planning to discard a diamond from dummy.

(1) If nobody ruffs, then continue with a crossruff.
(2) If somebody ruffs a club or anything else, then cash Ace before continuing with plan.
Jan. 10, 2017
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I would play the 10 at Trick One. If the 10 holds, then a shift to low seems to give partner the most information about the position as well as East's honor cards. West might then be able to direct the defense; or, if discarding, West will be able to make better informed decisions.
Dec. 8, 2015
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Both pairs at the table where the hand was dealt are responsible for ensuring it was a fair deal. That is how “shuffle and play” works in a KO match. After being played at the first table, the board, without being altered in any way, was passed to the second table for play. Results were compared. That, also, is how it works in a KO match.

IMO calling the director is abusing the director's time.
Dec. 7, 2015
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Yes, Benoit, good point. -)
Dec. 3, 2015
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Another possibility is for West to discard a small on the second round of diamonds. If declarer draws trumps and leadsQ, West will follow and East has a complete count of the hand.
Dec. 2, 2015
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Agree, if partner follows to the third , then an immediate switch seems best.
Nov. 25, 2015
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I agree with the two above posters. Yes, I would cash the good . Since the opps are “intermediate” (club?) players I would just try exiting with the fourth and let declarer work something out.
Nov. 25, 2015
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@David: I did not think of the 9 follow up; I agree, that seems to guarantee three club tricks with entries to cash them, even against A-10-x-x OR A-K-10-x with RHO (and LHO, as you point out). If declarer has K and Q (and more than two 's) it would take a pretty smart cooperative defense to beat the hand, assuming it can be beaten. In considering your suggestion, the unblock might be best play for certain declarer holdings, one example being:
A-x-x-x, Q-10-x-x, K-x-x-x, Q-8

Thank you for explaining the unblock to me in more detail. I'll file this one in my memory banks.
Nov. 19, 2015
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@David: Just a quick response to your suggestion of the unblock from Q-8, namely, it's doubtful whether declarer can afford to unblock, because clubs might to 3-2 or 2-3. The outstanding 10 is too dangerous a card. On this particular hand, the unblock does not even gain against A-10-x-x onside due to the entry position. For these reasons, I believe that declarer *would* have played 8 from Q-8.
Nov. 19, 2015
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@Ben, regarding the return of Jack or 10:
Yes, returning an honor runs the risk of declarer's holding A-9-x-x. After Q, and declarer crosses to dummy with Ace to lead a third round of 's, partner will certainly think that he can exit safely with a , particularly if the return had been 10. A switch by him could locate Queen for the ninth trick.

On the other hand, returning an honor is necessary if partner led from 9-7-x-x-x and A-x-x. Whatever his holding in the red suits, 7 seems a plausible lead from this hand.

Is there a strong clue what partner has? I think partner's Smith signal from A-x-x may be difficult to read, although he would definitely discourage if his original spade holding were 7-x-x. I'm assuming that the reasoning would be partner is 100% to discourage with 7-x-x, and less than 100% with 9-7-x-x-x. I see what you mean though, Ben, that using Smith increases the probability of an accurate defense on this hand. If the signal can't be read then you are no worse off than if not using it.

Also, *I did not consider the possibility of partner having led from 7-x-x, A-10-x-x, nor what would happen after partner wins the third round of clubs*. At the table I would have returned Jack. That's why my original post suggested that J or 10 was necessary. I thought that an honor return would *safely* cover both possible leads.
Nov. 18, 2015
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@Ben. Yes. A hand that would make a passive spade lead against this auction certainly smells like holding ♣ A-10-x-x.
Nov. 18, 2015
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Comment moved to appropriate thread.
Nov. 18, 2015
Wesley Suzuki edited this comment Nov. 18, 2015
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I agree, Nick. That is another possibility. And yes, I agree that a switch would be essential if that were the layout.
Nov. 18, 2015
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I agree with Ben.

If partner has A-10-x-x then any spade return will give declarer problems, since partner will just duck the Q.

If partner has only A-10-x there is a small chance that he led from 9-7-x-x-x, in which case South has to return Jack or 10.

To cover both possibilities, South should try Jack or 10 return.

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EDIT ADD:

Like Ben, I would play 8 at Trick One to deny holding Ace.
— wys
Nov. 18, 2015
Wesley Suzuki edited this comment Nov. 18, 2015
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I agree, Steve. An earlier comment pointed out that declarer might have five running club tricks as well as K and K. Whatever card East plays to the first trick West must win the Ace immediately.

Another possibility is that East started with K-9 doubleton and had no other spot card to play when declarer led a to dummy. Now, if West ducks, East is forced to win the second round of 's. East could then set the contract with a return, but if West were to win the first round of 's and shift to Q, then when East gets in with King the defense is much easier. Since West can figure all of this out at Trick One, then, to paraphrase your comment, East's 9 has nothing to do with West's defense.

Nov. 18, 2015
Wesley Suzuki edited this comment Nov. 18, 2015
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Almost any time that the contract can be set, the Q shift works whenever East has three or more 's. The x shift gains only when East holds K-x.

Without there being any strong indication that East holds K-x, the Q seems the more likely switch to succeed.
Nov. 17, 2015
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I agree with the posters who suggest that West take the very first with Ace.

Regarding signals, I don't believe that signals are relevant for this hand. West can play East for any one of the four Kings.

(1) If East has K declarer will eventually make nine tricks, no matter what his distribution.
(2) If East has K then West must assume East's also has J, something like K-J-x. West has to switch to Q and hope for the best.
(3) If East has K, West has to switch to Q and hope for the best.
(4) If East has K, West can afford to switch to x, just in case East has K-x doubleton.

Overall the Queen switch covers the most cases.

I think that West can figure all this out even before playing to Trick One.

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EDIT ADD:

(1) is inaccurate. If East has K and declarer's clubs are something like K-Q-J, then West can still try Q shift. —wys

Nov. 17, 2015
Wesley Suzuki edited this comment Nov. 17, 2015
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Following Phillip Martin's analysis, one sequence might be:
(1) win the Jack, (2) draw two rounds of trump ending in dummy (just in case RHO had a singleton you can afford to cash the King.), (3) two more trumps, and guess LHO's minor suit distribution after his discard on the fourth trump.

I agree with Phillip that card reading will be challenging, especially if trumps are 3-2 or 2-3. I also agree with Phillip that theoretically the hand makes no matter what seven cards LHO comes down to — if only declarer makes the correct follow-up discard from dummy.

This line requires the finesse plus a difficult ending.

If I myself were at the table declaring, I would take the finesse but choose a more basic, theoretically inferior follow-up. (I would not have worked out Phillip's line).
Nov. 17, 2015
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I think South's keycards must be Ace and Ace. As others have noted, South would also be looking at a void and very long trumps. North might have something like:

K-x-x, A-K-x, K-Q-J-9-x-x, x

Nov. 17, 2015
Wesley Suzuki edited this comment Nov. 17, 2015
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1-2, 3-4, 4NT-5, 6-P
Nov. 6, 2015
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