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All comments by Stefan Ralescu
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Not an easy defense.

If declarer’s hand is something like: QJ104, KJx, KJxx, Ax (possible and not unlikely from the bidding and the diamonds spots), East’s defense might make a difference. If East wins and returns a heart to the jack and ace, and if West exits with a heart (say), declarer takes the king, discards a heart on the 3rd round of clubs, crosses to hand on the DK and runs the SQ. East is powerless, whether he wins the king and continues spades or ducks.

But if East wins the DA and continues diamonds, South is in trouble. After winning with the king, he does best to play three rounds of clubs pitching the losing heart, then guess correctly to finesse the HJ. West takes the ace and needs to return a low diamond. That forces declarer to ruff in dummy with the 9, but East should discard his remaining club to make sure he takes two of the last six tricks.
Oct. 28
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Michael, order the pills and forget about Victor. And forget about this deal where you played ‘a low spade without any thought’ and got a zero.
BTW, you are not giving me a hard time, it looks more like you are making a fool of yourself with your silly comments.
Oct. 19
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MR, if you keep recalling various episodes involving Victor etc, perhaps you should take pills that could help you forget. True, there are potential side effects, but it looks like it maybe worth a try.

Now you will have to excuse me, I have a baseball game to watch.
Oct. 19
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Michael, your gratuitous comments are very silly. Now who cares if you ‘put the possibility of a finesse of the 6 at 0%’ ??
To repeat, on this deal West bid 3 clubs and has heart length, so playing a low spade without any thought in East’s seat is not clever.
Oct. 19
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I just told you why you can’t play low on the first spade. West bid 3 clubs and has heart length (see RR’s comment below), so declarer can ‘see’ the spades in East’s hand. So, ‘play low without any thought’ and your suboptimal defense may allow the contract to be made.
Oct. 19
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Well, OK then, but if declarer’s hand is AKQ106, AQJ10xx, xx, – and if he is inspired to cover East’s ‘low’ trump with the six, when West shows out, South leads the HQ and the defense is helpless.

So, ‘play low without any thought’ and your suboptimal defense allows the contract to be made.
Oct. 19
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You are wrong. The squeeze mechanism is a complicated one indeed, but just because East is guarding diamonds doesn’t mean that West wouldn’t like to have a diamond left at the very moment when he is endplayed.
Oct. 19
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Assuming declarer’s hand is AKQ106, AKJxx, xxx, —, play a high spade to protect partner from being subjected to unbearable pressure in three suits.
Oct. 19
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Playing declarer for a hand like xx, Axxxx, KQJx, xx with or without a heart quack, you must make sure partner wins the second trick to fire a diamond back and defeat the contract. So play the C7.
Oct. 17
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“So cash two diamonds and lead out four hearts.

West wins and must lead a spade or cash the diamond Jack first.
If he leads a low spade you throw him back in for a diamond trick at the end.
If he leads the jack of spades, you win and throw East in for a spade finesse!”

That wouldn’t be very pleasant if West started with Q-J-x-x of spades…

Under the assumption that West is 4=4=4=1, if East returns a club and West discards a spade, I would lead the ten of spades at trick 3, intending to run it. If East has Q-J-x of spades, you have 9 tricks. On the actual deal, if East plays low (it doesn’t matter), run the spade ten to West’s jack, win the spade return (say), cash another spade, cash the ace-king of diamonds, and follow with four rounds of hearts to endplay West.
Oct. 8
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I’m playing South for AQx, Q10xxxx, 10, Jxx, so I win the DQ and return the C5. If partner is allowed to win trick two, I hope he knows to return a low club.
Trying to make the Daily Bulletin, …
Oct. 6
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This line works well, but it doesn’t appear to guarantee the contract.
On the run of the clubs, let’s say East discards 2 hearts and West 3 diamonds. What are East’s remaining 4 cards? You may have good reason to suspect he kept a spade honor and 3 diamonds, in which case you must lead a heart from the table. However, you may be surprised when instead of a diamond, East follows with a low heart. At this point, to make the slam you must guess whether to finesse the jack or play for the drop of the queen.
Sept. 1
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I guess this rather tricky problem requires declarer to assume that West is 4=2=3=4 with the missing aces and at least a heart honor (although you can easily get to 10 tricks if East started with Q-J-x of hearts).
Acting on these assumptions, South should win the spade lead in hand and lead the D3.
(1) If West follows low, declarer wins in dummy with the queen and leads a heart to the 9. West wins with a quack, but following any return from him, South can easily collect 10 tricks.
(2) Suppose West takes the ace and returns a spade (best). South wins, cashes the A-Q of clubs and plays a spade. After winning with the ace, what can West do? (A) If he returns a diamond or a club, declarer wins in dummy, cashes the A-K of hearts, loses a heart to East (if necessary) and claims 10 tricks (since dummy is high). (B) If West decides to cash his master spade, that forces East to pitch a club, while dummy throws a heart and South a club. But then on a diamond (or club return), East gets squeezed in the red suits when the king of clubs is played and South ends-up scoring a total of 10 tricks.
Aug. 29
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Yes, definitely.
Aug. 28
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Not true, you’re forgetting about the diamond ten in dummy.
Aug. 27
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Declarer’s hand might look something like this: Jxx, J10xxx, Jxx, Qx which is consistent with the bidding. In that case I need to return a spade, the idea being to take advantage of the trump blockage and arrange a diamond ruff for partner and a spade ruff in addition to A-K of clubs and A-Q of diamonds. Notice that this defense works if South’s trumps are Q10xxx (and the SJ is kind of irrelevant).
Aug. 26
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There is a good chance that South is 2=3=3=5 with the A-K of hearts and the black queens. If so, you want East to win the club and shift to a high spade to prevent an unpleasant endplay.
Aug. 24
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Perhaps declarer, by leading a low club at trick two, is trying to convey the impression that he is void in spades, when in fact he might be missing A, K and Q of clubs. If South is 3=1=2=7 with A-Q of diamonds but without the queen of clubs, you better duck.
July 29
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What if West exits with the 10 of diamonds after winning the SK?

(I gave West the D8!)
July 23
Stefan Ralescu edited this comment July 23
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Preparing for declarer to hold something like 9x, Kxx, AJ9xx, A10x (a hand consistent with the bidding), you should duck. You want East to take the spade ace and return a trump, aiming to score 2 spades, 2 hearts and the DK.
If South has the above hand and you win trick 2, you won’t be able to set the contract, since declarer can arrange to either ruff a heart or score 4 club tricks or score the SQ, depending on your return and the subsequent defense.
July 23
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