Florida expert Richard Pavlicek showed how to handle a shaky 4-3 fit at the ACBL Summer Championships. (These are known as Moysian fits; Sonny Moyse, a "Bridge World" magazine editor, passionately believed seven trumps are plenty.)

The defense began with three rounds of diamonds, forcing Pavlicek to ruff. He led a trump to the ten and returned a trump to his king. If East takes the ace, Pavlicek can win any return, draw trumps and run the clubs; but East defended well by ducking twice.

If South led another trump, East would win and cash diamonds. So South started the clubs; and luckily, West, with the last low trump, had to follow suit three times. East discarded since to ruff wouldn't help him.

Pavlicek then led a fourth club. West ruffed (as good a defense as any), but Pavlicek overruffed in dummy, led a heart to his queen and continued clubs. When East ruffed with the ace of trumps, Pavlicek claimed with his last trump and remaining clubs. Well done!

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S A 8 5 H 10 8 7 2 D A 10 8 6 5 C 5. Dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner doubles, you respond two diamonds and he then bids two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since partner doubled before bidding a suit, he has at least 17 points. If you held any more strength, you'd have jumped to three diamonds at your first turn. Hence raise to four spades and don't be amazed if partner takes 12 tricks.

Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

S Q 10 7

H A K 5 4

D Q 7 2

C K 8 4

WEST

S 9 6 2

H J 9 6 3

D K J 9

C 9 7 2

EAST

S A 8 5

H 10 8 7 2

D A 10 8 6 5

C 5

SOUTH

S K J 4 3

H Q

D 4 3

C A Q J 10 6 3

North East South West

1 C 1 D 1 S 2 D

2 S Pass 4 S All Pass

Opening lead -- D K

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate