If 666 is the num­ber of ul­ti­mate evil, is 25.8070 the root of all evil? You don’t need to cal­cu­late square roots to play the dummy well, but a ba­sic knowl­edge of per­cent­ages helps.

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CUL­TURE - By Frank Ste­wart

Against four spades, West led the K-A and a low heart (not best). South ruffed and took the A-K of trumps.

When West dis­carded, South tried dummy’s top di­a­monds, but on the third di­a­mond East dis­carded a club. (If he ruffed, he would end-play him­self.) South threw a club but had to ruff the fourth di­a­mond. He lost a club plus a trump.

Af­ter South ruffs the third heart, his per­cent­age play is to take the ace of trumps, lead a di­a­mond to dummy and re­turn a sec­ond trump. When East fol­lows low, South plays the jack.

As the cards lie, South is home, but if West had the queen, South would still suc­ceed. He could win a club shift and cash dummy’s high di­a­monds. When the suit broke 4-2, South could ruff a di­a­mond and re­turn with a trump to dis­card his last club on the good di­a­mond.

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & 2 h AK6 4 ( J962 $ 9 7 5 2. Your part­ner opens one spade, you re­spond 1NT and he bids two hearts. What do you say?

An­swer: This is a close case. Part­ner could have as many as 18 points, and four hearts might be a de­cent con­tract. Still, I believe that a raise to three hearts would be too en­cour­ag­ing. The sin­gle­ton spade is not an as­set, and the jack of di­a­monds may be a wasted point. Pass. If you miss a game, blame your bid­ding sys­tem. by Dana Sum­mers

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