The Globe and Mail (Ottawa/Quebec Edition) - - GLOBE ARTS - BY STEVE BECKER

More of­ten than not, de­clarer is con­fronted by sit­u­a­tions where he must judge which of sev­eral ap­proaches is more likely to work out best.

Con­sider this deal where South is in six hearts and has two po­ten­tial losers – a di­a­mond and a club. Since there are no fi­nesses or dis­cards avail­able, the only hope is to try for an end­play.

So de­clarer takes the di­a­mond with the king, draws trumps and cashes the A-K-Q of spades and the ace of di­a­monds, West dis­card­ing a low club. The po­si­tion now is:

The crit­i­cal ques­tion is which op­po­nent has the king of clubs. If de­clarer thinks it’s West, he should play the ace and an­other club, com­pelling West to win and yield a ruff-and-dis­card. If he thinks it’s East, he should lead a di­a­mond, forc­ing East to win and lead a club from the king or con­cede a ruff-and-dis­card.

South can’t be cer­tain, but he should rea­son that West is more likely to have the club king. This is be­cause East has thus far shown up with six di­a­monds, three spades and one trump, leav­ing him with at most three clubs. West there­fore started with six or seven clubs.

Since West was dealt at least twice as many clubs as East, he is much more likely to have the king. So South plays the ace and an­other club, forc­ing West to win and yield a fa­tal ruff-and-dis­card.

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