Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S 10 6 3

H A 9 5 4

D J 4

C 10 9 3 2

WEST

S 9 7

H 8 3

D 9 8

C A Q 8 7 6 5 4

EAST

S A Q J 8 4 2

H Q J 10 7 6 2

D 2

C None

SOUTH

S K 5

H K

D A K Q 10 7 6 5 3

C K J

The Bidding:

West North East South

Pass Pass 1 S 3 NT

Pass Pass 4 H 5 D

Dbl All Pass

Opening lead -- Choose it

When I watched today's deal on OKbridge, the marvelous Internet site that has 16,000 members, East was Benito Garozzo, a many-time world champion who plays there almost nightly, and the other three players were top-notch.

South's leap to 3NT would have been chosen by many experts, though there was no reason why North couldn't have held two aces instead of one. When Garozzo competed with four hearts, South couldn't bring himself to continue with 4NT with the singleton king of hearts, though that action would have been a winner. He tried five diamonds, and West ventured a double.

If West had led a heart or a spade, South would have been plus 750 points; but West picked the ace of clubs, and Garozzo ruffed the next club and cashed the ace of spades.

If your favorite player has Internet access, an OKbridge membership makes a year-long holiday gift. The cost: about a quarter a day, a super-bargain for so much entertainment. Call (619) 490-6770 or try www.okbridge.com.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S 10 6 3 H A 9 5 4 D J 4 C 10 9 3 2. Your partner opens one spade, and the next player passes. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since you have an ace and a possible ruffing feature in diamonds, you must act; game may be cold. Most good players would raise to two spades: six to nine points plus support. A few would respond 1NT, since a raise would be more encouraging -- if only in a psychological way -- and might induce partner to get too high.