It's a pity there are no motorcycle cops around to hand out tickets for speeding at the bridge table.

In today's deal, South covered the jack of hearts with dummy's queen, and East took the king and raced to cash the ace. South ruffed, drew trumps and correctly started the diamonds by leading low toward dummy's two honors.

West played low, but South won in dummy, returned a diamond to his ace and led a third diamond. West took the king, but South could discard a club on dummy's winning diamond and lose only one club, one diamond and one heart.

NO SPEEDER

West was no speeder: her words came out slowly and carefully, like railroad cars easing around a bad curve.

"Even if we have two heart tricks available, you'll need one trick from my hand to beat the contract. Shift to the jack of clubs at the second trick, forcing out an honor from dummy. When I get in, I return a club, and you win two clubs."

Speed is no advantage if you're going in the wrong direction.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: (S) 5 3 (H) A K 8 7 2 (D) 7 5 (C) A J 10 8. Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart and he next bids 1NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since partner promises 12 to 15 points with balanced distribution, you have a fine chance for game. A bid of two clubs now would suggest a weak hand; hence bid three clubs, forcing. If partner next bids 3NT, you'll pass, but if he tries three hearts, you'll bid four hearts.

East dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

(S) J 8 7

(H) Q 6 4

(D) Q J 3 2

(C) K Q 6

WEST

(S) 6 4

(H) J 10 9 3

(D) K 10 9 8

(C) 7 4 3

EAST

(S) 5 3

(H) A K 8 7 2

(D) 7 5

(C) A J 10 8

SOUTH

(S) A K Q 10 9 2

(H) 5

(D) A 6 4

(C) 9 5 2

East South West North

1 (H) 1 (S) 2 (H) 2 (S)

Pass 4 (S) All Pass

Opening lead -- (H) J