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All comments by Kit Woolsey
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I would take an immediate diamond finesse. Then:

1) If the finesse wins, I take enough diamonds to run East out of diamonds, cross to a spade (maybe cashing ace of hearts first), and take a heart finesse. If it loses and East is out of spades, I'm home. If he has a spade to return I have to win, pitch a club, and hope hearts come home, there is a squeeze, or East has the queen of clubs.

2) If the diamond finesse loses, I must have the queen of hearts onside. So I win the return, heart to ace, back to hand, and take the heart finesse. When it wins, what happens in the suit and how the diamonds split will give me a good idea what squeeze might work or if no squeeze whom to play for the queen of clubs.

In the second variation, it would be a great falsecard for West to play the queen of hearts on the second round of hearts from an initial holding of Q10xx. It can't possibly cost since no declarer would then finesse the 10, and it could throw declarer's count of the hand off. Simply a matter of playing the card you are known to hold, but I've never seen this particular falsecard before.
March 17
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Steve,

On your suggested line of play, what are you planning to discard from dummy on the third round of spades?
March 17
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He might. Would East have shifted to a spade from AQJx? From his point of view it would just give declarer a spade trick which would otherwise be inconvenient for declarer to establish with only one dummy entry.
March 17
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That implies that one can't bid RKC with 0 key cards.
March 16
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The leads were described as attitude leads with MUD and 2nd from 4 small. I can't see any combination where South would be leading the 6 of diamonds from Qxxx.
March 16
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Any time responder does anything but pass or opener doesn't pass on his second turn, the raise shows 4-card support and 13 cards. It is too important to both establish the fit and gobble up enemy room before they can find whether or not they have a fit.
March 16
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Perhaps, but it is better than punishing West all of the time when he asks the question, even when he obviously isn't showing values because he doesn't have any values.
March 15
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That probably was my plan, until I saw West's club discard (remember, I didn't know he was going to discard a club when I made my play).

That discard makes it likely that West's shape is 1-4-3-5. So I will instead play heart to queen, ruff a heart, and now put the queen of clubs through. If East ruffs high, I discard my last heart and claim. If East ruffs low, I overruff and throw him in with a spade. If East discards, I pitch a heart, ruff a club, and play AK of diamonds and then trump coup him, which works if he has 3 hearts and 4 diamonds.

The point is that playing the spades in the right order leaves me the option of what to do next, which might be the heart ruff, the queen of clubs, or a third round of spades. Playing the spades in the wrong order eliminates two of those options.
March 15
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A few years ago, I was in a suit slam against top-flight opponents. I got a lead through dummy's KJ, and I had a small doubleton. The contract depended on getting this right. The auction was such that underleading the ace would be quite logical, as the suit appeared to be the suit to lead and I wasn't likely to have a singleton. Of course underleading the queen would also be quite logical, and perhaps more automatic. There wasn't anything I noticed in the manner or tempo of the lead which indicated anything to me.

As I sat for a minute thinking about my play, I thought I felt a change in LHO's attitude. I thought I sensed something like: OMG, why is Kit thinking. Did I give something away. There seemed to be a nervousness which wouldn't be there if he were underleading the queen. I chose to back my judgment, went up king, and was right. Obviously I could have been wrong.

The point is that things can be picked up from the opponents, even the best players in the world. Some are better at masking their emotions than others, but every player may give away some kind of potentially readable tell.
March 15
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Whether East would have doubled 4 if West hadn't asked the question we will never know. However, one thing we do know is that East did not receive any UI suggesting that West had anything. All we have to do is look in the West hand to see that. For this West, the question doesn't mean anything. The West hand is proof of that.

If West had, say, an 11-count with a stiff heart, it would be another story.
March 15
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I don't understand this line at all. If your plan is to cash AK of spades, which is a reasonable plan, surely it is better to cash king and spade to the ace, since you want to be in dummy when you get the bad news.
March 15
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If North has falsecarded from Q9x or Q10x, the 9 or 10 will appear from South on the second round, in which case of course I win the ace.

My play potentially loses (vs. cashing king and ace) when North has 109, Q9, Q10, or Q109. It potentially gains when North has stiff 9 or stiff 10. As I said, from the way the defense has gone I think it is more likely that I'm getting a bad spade split or that the queen of diamonds is onside.
March 15
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There is nothing unethical going on. What you are observing is simply human nature.

You appear to have a very good table feel from your ability to pick up on these small things. Take full advantage of this.
March 15
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Why did South hit the panic button and take the ace of clubs? Maybe because he thinks his partner might have a stiff club. Maybe because he holds the queen of diamonds and can see the diamonds are coming in. Maybe because his trumps are good enough that he expects to beat you in the trump suit.

All these factors argue for cashing the king of spades and leading to dummy, playing the 8 if North drops the 9 or 10 on the first round.
March 15
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East can expect 3 to be pretty cold. Therefore, East should bid 4. East would have bid 3 without one of the aces.
March 15
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My main objection is that as far as I can tell you don't have a way to show 5-4-3-1 hands with a 4-card major and a 5-card minor. The 5-4-3-1 shape is by far the most common of the distributional hands, and it also requires the most accuracy since 3NT, 4M in a 4-3 fit, or 5m might be right. Opener will usually know which is best if he knows responder's exact distribution.
March 14
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I don't consider it a question of slam interest. I would consider a minimum to be a hand where if I had a queen or so less, I wouldn't have opened with a 1-bid. For example, a hand such as x AQxxxx KQx xxx has plenty of slam potential if partner is going slamming, and of course would accept a limit raise. However, it is still a minimum, since take away one of the queens and it wouldn't be an opening 1 bid.
March 14
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Not 3 otherwise. All bids other than 3 show non-minimums, along with some distributional info. 3 = some shortness. 3 = some 5-4-2-2. 3 = some 6-3-2-2. 3NT = some 5-3-3-2.
March 14
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True, you would want to be in slam opposite that hand. However, it is a perfecto. Even opposite that hand, slam isn't laydown – you need 2-2 trumps or spades coming in for 4 tricks.

The problem is that partner is going to like hands which aren't quite as good. Partner knows you know he is limited, so he will be very aggessive. For example, give him Axx AJxxx xxx Ax and he will certainly make a move above 4, perhaps driving to slam, and even 5 is far from cold. It just isn't worth looking for the perfecto.
March 14
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5-3-3-2 non-min, 3NT. 5-3-3-2 min, 3 then 4 over 3.
March 14
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