National Post (National Edition) - - DIVERSIONS - By Paul Thurston Feed­back al­ways wel­come at

While you shouldn’t al­ways trust the de­fend­ers to de­liver ac­cu­rate dis­tri­bu­tional in­for­ma­tion, they will of­ten do so in­ad­ver­tently, such in­for­ma­tion of­ten con­sti­tut­ing the back­bone of many use­ful play in­di­ca­tors like Va­cant Space The­ory.

A brisk auc­tion to a de­cent game against which West led a fourth-best di­a­mond. In with the ace, East shifted to the spade seven, ducked for West to win the ace and play back the ten.

De­clarer won the sec­ond spade to mop up two rounds of trumps be­fore cash­ing the last high spade and King of di­a­monds.

To make it all about the club Jack: with a fi­nesse pos­si­ble against ei­ther de­fender, could South guess the right way to go to avoid los­ing a sec­ond trick in the suit?

Af­ter West’s play of the di­a­mond deuce on the sec­ond round, that suit seemed to have started 5-5. Fur­ther, East was known to have been dealt two hearts and, judg­ing by West’s lead back of the ten of spades, four cards in that suit.

All to make East’s like­li­est distri­bu­tion 4-2-5-2 and West’s 3-1-5-4. In line with Va­cant Space The­ory, what in­for­ma­tion there was seemed to make West a 2-1 favourite to hold the Jack of clubs as his hand had four “va­cant spa­ces” for any par­tic­u­lar club to oc­cupy as com­pared to two for East.

Per­versely, South con­tin­ued by lead­ing a club to the Queen fol­lowed by the ten through East for a los­ing fi­nesse and down one, a re­sult some would say was thor­oughly de­served for de­clarer’s fail­ure to count and/ or fol­low the odds.

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