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The power of Position

Contrast: (a) 432 facing KQJ
and (b) 432 facing KQ5.

In (a) you have two winners by Force, regardless of the position of the missing ace. Simply lead one of your honours to flush out that ace, thus promoting the other two.
In (b) you have just one winner by Force. You can sacrifice one of your high cards to flush out the ace, and so promote the other. However you have a chance (50%) of promoting both honours. This can only be done using finessing technique.
You must lead from the opposite hand to the king-queen, and hope that the missing ace is sitting in front of the honours. Assuming that second player plays low, you win one of your honours. Now you must return to the opposite hand (in another suit) in order to lead towards your other honour

South Deals
Both Vul
8 7 5
9 6 3 2
6 4 2
A Q 10
Q J 6 3
K 10 8
8 5
9 7 6 2
 
N
W   E
S
 
10 9
Q J 5 4
A 10 9 7
8 5 3
 
A K 4 2
A 7
K Q J 3
K J 4
West North East South
      2 N
Pass 3 N Pass Pass
Pass      

What happened
Declarer beat West’s  3 lead (to East’s  9) with  K, and counted six top tricks ( AK,  A and three clubs). He naturally looked to diamonds to make up the shortfall (he correctly counted no top tricks there, as he lacked the ace).
At Trick Two declarer led  K to force out  A. East won  A, and led  10. Winning  A, declarer cashed  QJ but, when the suit failed to split 3-3, had no ninth trick. Down one.
What should have happened
Declarer should seek to promote all his diamond honours by leading from the opposite hand - unwilling to sacrifice one of them to the ace. Winning  K, declarer leads  4 to  10, and follows with  2. East plays  7 (best), and he scores  J. It appears that East holds  A - good news. He overtakes  J with  Q and leads  4. Again East plays low (best), so  Q wins. A third time declarer crosses to dummy, overtaking  K with  A, in order to lead  6. This time East wins  A and leads  10 (declarer would not mind if he was able to cash a club or two). Declarer wins  A, cashes the promoted  K, and follows with  A. Nine tricks and game made.
If you remember just one thing...
With small card(s) accompanying honour(s) you are trying to promote, lead from the other hand

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