World champion Mike Lawrence has authored a string of books, all high-quality. He made a notable entry into the area of instructional software with "Private Bridge Lessons, Volume I" last year, and "Volume II" is now out.

Lawrence offers dozens of deals, leading you through the crossruff, the dummy reversal and other techniques. In today's deal, he has South overcall one spade with a strong four-card suit, an action many experts would try. After North leaps to game, South wins the first diamond, leads the jack of clubs to the ace (declining to finesse) and ruffs a club.

South then takes the ace of hearts, crossruffs two hearts and two clubs, and wins two more tricks with dummy's trumps to fulfill the contract. But if South mistimes by ruffing a heart first, Lawrence points out, he goes down.

When I reviewed Volume I, I called it superb, and Volume II is its equal. Available from 131 Alvarado Road, Berkeley CA 94705, $37.95 postpaid. For Windows 3.1, 95 or 98.


You hold: S A 5 H K 9 5 2 D K Q J 9 C 7 6 2. Dealer, at your right, opens one spade. You double, and your partner bids two spades. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner's "cue bid" of the opening bidder's suit promises a strong hand -- usually with the strength for game -- but doubt about the best contract. He wants you to suggest a suit. Bid three diamonds. If partner bids three hearts next, you'll raise to four hearts.

Neither side vulnerable


S 10 8 7 6 3

H 7

D 8 7 3

C A Q 9 3


S A 5

H K 9 5 2

D K Q J 9

C 7 6 2


S 4 2

H Q J 10 6 4

D 5

C K 10 8 5 4


S K Q J 9

H A 8 3

D A 10 6 4 2


West North East South

1 D Pass 1 H 1 S

2 H 4 S All Pass

Opening lead -- D K

(C( 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate