The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT - Bob Jones

ANOTHER PER­CENT­AGE PLAY East-West vul­ner­a­ble, South deals. Open­ing lead: Three of Di­a­monds West might have led a spade, but the auc­tion sug­gested that dummy would have four spades, so West chose a low di­a­mond in­stead. This went to East’s jack and South’s king. The best chance for this con­tract was to get four tricks from the heart suit. What was the best way to do it? Any­thing would work if the hearts split 3-3, but the per­cent­age split with six miss­ing is 4-2. Should de­clarer cash the king of hearts and then run the nine, he would lose to a dou­ble­ton honor, or four to the queen-jack, with West. There was noth­ing to do if East had a dou­ble­ton honor or four to the queen-jack. Ac­cord­ingly, South made the per­cent­age play of lead­ing a low heart to the nine, a very use­ful card in the dummy. East won with his queen and re­verted to di­a­monds, West over­tak­ing the nine with the 10, as dummy won with the ace. When the king of hearts dropped the jack, South was home free. He led a club to his queen, los­ing to the ace. West could cash two di­a­mond tricks, but South had the rest — two spades, four hearts, two di­a­monds, and a club. The per­cent­age play, when you can iden­tify it, might lose on any given day, but it will bring you the most tricks in the long run.

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