Cy the Cynic's view is that an honest man is one who hasn't been caught yet; but Cy is not above some bridge-table larceny himself.

In a team match, Cy took the ace of diamonds and led the ace and a low trump. West won and cashed his queen of diamonds.

At the other table of the match, in the same position, South followed with the six; and since West wasn't eager to break a new suit, he led a third diamond. South took the jack and tried a club to the king; but East won and returned a club, and South eventually lost a heart finesse to West's queen. Down one.

DISHONESTY

Cy made his game with a little dishonesty: when West cashed the queen of diamonds, Cy dropped the jack.

Now West wasn't eager to lead another diamond since it seemed he'd concede a ruff-sluff. So West led a club (a heart would have been no better). East won and returned a heart; but Cy took the ace, cashed the queen of clubs, led a heart to the king and threw his jack of hearts on the king of clubs.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A 9 8 7 4 H A J 2 D A J 6 C Q 10. Your partner opens one heart, you bid one spade and he bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: This problem is awkward because your hand has too much slam potential to bid four hearts; yet a jump to three hearts would be game invitational, not forcing. Bid two diamonds, forcing. If partner next bids two hearts, suggesting six hearts and four clubs, you'll try six hearts.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 6 5 3

H K 7 4 3

D 10 4

C K 5 4

WEST

S K 2

H Q 6 5

D K Q 9 8 3

C J 9 6

EAST

S J 10

H 10 9 8

D 7 5 2

C A 8 7 3 2

SOUTH

S A 9 8 7 4

H A J 2

D A J 6

C Q 10

South West North East

1 S Pass 2 S Pass

2 NT Pass 4 S All Pass

Opening lead -- D K

(c) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate