Dorothy Truscott, one of the world's great players, also wrote one of the most successful books. Her "Bid Better, Play Better," a fine basic text, has been updated and reissued.

In a major team event, West cashed two top diamonds, and East pondered before throwing a club. West then led the jack of hearts; and Truscott, South, took the ace and king.

When West threw a diamond, Truscott still had a chance; but if she finessed in spades next, the defense would get two spades, two diamonds and a heart. Instead, Truscott led the ace and a LOW spade, felling West's king, and took the rest.

In the book, Truscott explains: West surely had the king of spades for an entry since he'd cashed the second diamond instead of shifting. If East held five clubs (or three), he'd have had no problem discarding one; hence he had four -- and West's pattern was 2-1-6-4.

"Bid Better, Play Better," a fine holiday gift. Call Baron- Barclay, (800) 274-2221. $12.95 plus shipping.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A Q J 4 2 H A 3 D Q 9 6 2 C A 8. You open one spade, your partner responds two hearts, you next bid three diamonds and he tries 3NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Your three diamonds was a "high reverse" and promised substantial extra strength since it immediately drove the auction to the level of three. Since partner made no strong move, he probably has minimum values for his first response. Pass and take your game.

North-South vulnerable

NORTH

S 8 6

H K 10 8 6 5 2

D 10 3

C K Q 3

WEST

S K 3

H J

D A K J 8 7 5

C 9 6 5 2

EAST

S 10 9 7 5

H Q 9 7 4

D 4

C J 10 7 4

SOUTH

S A Q J 4 2

H A 3

D Q 9 6 2

C A 8

South West North East

1 S 2 D 2 H Pass

3 NT All Pass

Opening lead -- D K

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate

( END OF TEXT )

AP-NY-11-02-99 0707EST