Since it now costs 33 cents to say your two cents' worth in a letter, it's not surprising that many bridge players are happy to do it for free.

South took the king of diamonds and led a trump to the queen and a trump to his king. West won and shifted to the jack of clubs, and dummy played low.

East won and returned the queen of diamonds. West ruffed happily -- after all, that was what he'd hoped for when he led his singleton -- and East was ready with his two cents' worth (it sounded more like a dollar's worth).

"I knew you'd ruff the diamond," East groaned, "but I had to lead it anyway."

SAVES ACE

Meanwhile, South played a low diamond from dummy, saving the ace. He won West's spade return, cashed the queen of clubs, led to the ace of diamonds and threw his last diamond on the ace of clubs.

West beats the contract by discarding on the second diamond instead of ruffing a loser. The ace wins, but South can't get his two club tricks and loses two diamonds.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S 9 8 7 3 H Q 5 D A 8 7 2 C A 6 4. Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade, he bids two diamonds and you raise to three diamonds. Partner then bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your partner suggests six hearts, four diamonds and extra strength. If his values were minimum, he'd have rebid two hearts at his second turn. Since you have a couple of aces and heart support, bid four hearts.

North dealer

Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

S 9 8 7 3

H Q 5

D A 8 7 2

C A 6 4

WEST

S K J 6 4

H A 9 3

D 9

C J 10 5 3 2

EAST

S Q 10 5 2

H 7 4

D Q J 10 6

C K 9 8

SOUTH

S A

H K J 10 8 6 2

D K 5 4 3

C Q 7

North East South West

Pass Pass 1 H Pass

1 S Pass 2 H Pass

2 NT Pass 4 H All Pass

Opening lead -- D 9

(c) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate