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All comments by Stefan Ralescu
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Seems to me that option 1 might well be best. We can try to reason why as follows:

Assuming the SQ wins, lead the S10 next. If East shows out, run the ten. Say West ducks again. If both minor suites split 4-4, East started with 4 hearts. But now I can cash the HA and then play a heart to the ten and the defense is powerless. This way I get to look at West’s (singleton) heart before continuing my play.

On the other hand, if I adopt option 3 (diamond to the K, SQ), West ducks and when I run the S10, West ducks again forcing me to lead a low heart from the table and guess what to play from the closed hand.

The 2nd and the 4th options don’t seem to work when West is 4=1=4=4 with the king of spades, but without the missing red honors.

I may, of course, be wrong about the shapes…
9 hours ago
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“I'm not sure what the source of your confidence re the falsecard is.”

The need to keep declarer in the dark by falsecarding may be unclear on the present deal. Does West know that by doing so he gives declarer a losing option? What is the possible profit from falsecarding so early in the play? Random falsecarding might backfire by misleading your partner. That is one reason why students of the game are sometimes advised not to bother with them when defending.

Back to our problem, it is not difficult to construct hands (similar to the one we are discussing here) where the play of the 9 from 9xx gives away the contract, while if he follows with a routine x-card, West would defeat the contract.
April 5
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“There is a major problem when West started with 3 hearts.” Yes, you’re right, so I should have said that “since I’m not expecting West to falsecard with three hearts, the indicated line (where South leads the 4th heart after West returns the 3rd Heart) succeeds whenever West started with 1, 2 or 4 hearts.”
April 4
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Very well, if I can’t see the opponents play before I make my move, then, cash a heart at T4 and follow with DK and a diamond, making when West started with 1, 2 or 4 hearts, and needing to guess the location of the CA in the very unlikely case when West falsecarded with 3 hearts.
April 4
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OK then, I was wondering if you see what I meant the first time and you didn’t. Cash the A-J of hearts at tricks 4 and 5, then play DK and another diamond.
April 4
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As I said, I cash a heart at T4 then play a diamond to the king and another diamond. If West started with 2 hearts he is endplayed and if he started with 3 or 4 hearts I do NOT anticipate any major problem!
Also, don’t forget that West followed with the nine at T2.
April 3
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I don’t anticipate any major problem if West has 2, 3, or 4 hearts.
April 3
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Having the ten of spades in the closed hand, I find that cashing a heart could work much better than leading the spade 7 at trick four. On the actual layout, once West shows out, you can cross to dummy on the DK and endplay West with a diamond.
April 3
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If East has a hand such as K8, A109x, Jxxxx, KQ (or even KJ of clubs), and if North visualizes it, he needs to return the S7 to make you think he started with a doubleton spade and have you lead a top spade at trick three.

Needless to say, I don’t believe that’s what happened at the table.
March 22
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What was the actual layout?
March 9
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Maybe East thought that playing ‘bottom of three’ would attract a heart switch which he didn’t want, so with a hand like Axx, xxxx, 1074, Axx he decided to play D7 followed by the D10 asking for a club. How am I doing?
March 8
Stefan Ralescu edited this comment March 8
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Cross-ruffing does have a lot of appeal, but it also has its own issues. For starters, West’s D7 could be a singleton. But even if West follows suit at trick 2, the play may fall apart in the mid-game. See what happens if you proceed on cross-ruffing and East’s hand is Kxxx, Qxx, Q109x, xx.
Dec. 2, 2019
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It doesn’t seem to work when East has the long hearts, for example when his hand is xxx, Qxx, Q109x, xxx.
Dec. 1, 2019
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I don't see how this line succeeds if East’s hand is K9xxx, x, Q109x, xxx.
Dec. 1, 2019
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True, and let's not forget that Rohit Gupta showed that construction, so he should be given credit for it.
Nov. 25, 2019
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RR: It is clear that West had misgivings about leading a spade. Maybe his hand was Q6543, xxx, Jxx2, x. Now DC says that with this hand it is better to lead a spade. Well, it all depends on the full layout.
Nov. 25, 2019
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That's a nice construction, possibly better than mine.
Nov. 25, 2019
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D10, playing South for something like: AJ10x, Jxxx, Qx, Kxx
Nov. 25, 2019
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Cash the diamond ace (assume both opponents follow), finesse the HQ (you need the king onside) and lead a low diamond from the table. If East shows out, win with the king, finesse the diamond 10 and lead the DQ, squeezing RHO when he started with Axxxx, 10xxx, x, Kxx. Obviously, the triple squeeze against RHO operates when he is 5=3=3=2 or 5=3=2=3 with the H10 and the CK.
Nov. 24, 2019
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I was referring to my second comment before you replied. Regarding my first comment, (“are you overlooking…”), there was nothing to add since that was in reply to you comment “but clearly you should duck…”

I am typing on my phone and that’s quite unpleasant.
Nov. 22, 2019
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