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Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

West North East South Pass Pass Pass 1 Pass 4 * All Pass *Prac­ti­cal rather than Sci­en­tific Open­ing Lead: CK, C2 to East’s CA, H4 re­turned by East. Do you play HK or HJ at trick three? Rec­om­mended Line: Ev­ery­body hates guess­ing when hold­ing a K-J com­bi­na­tion – ex­actly the prob­lem you face at trick three in this hand. Some will toss a coin, metaphor­i­cally or lit­er­ally.

A few will keep their coin in their pocket, and use care­ful anal­y­sis. Here is your chain of logic.

West holds five points in di­a­monds (two of which are as­sumed, rea­son­ably enough). You need the di­a­mond fi­nesse to suc­ceed, so you “give” West the K. That adds up to eight points. If West also held the A, he would prob­a­bly have opened. So, to be con­sis­tent with your al­lo­ca­tion of the K to West, as­sume East holds the A, and play the K. Think like that, and you’ll be coin­ing it in the long run.

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