If North-South reached game in today's deal from the ACBL Summer Championships, they'd have to bid like two moths circling a candle flame. But suppose you're South and leap to four hearts, reasoning that North's 2NT invites game, and your hand can't be any better. How do you play when West leads the jack of clubs?

South must hope trumps break 3-2 but must also ruff a club in dummy. Say he takes the Q-A of clubs, ruffs a club and cashes the ace of trumps.

Alas, South is stuck in dummy. If he leads a diamond, West wins and leads a fourth club. East scores the king of trumps, and West gets two trump tricks.

South can't reach his hand by ruffing a spade; West will overruff and give East a club ruff. To make game, South leads a diamond at Trick Two, establishing a link with his hand. He wins the club return, ruffs a club, cashes the ace of trumps, ruffs a diamond and leads a trump, losing two trumps and a diamond.

It's fine to overbid if you also overplay.


You hold: S J 8 6 4 2 H K 9 D 8 5 3 C 9 6 3. Dealer, at your left, opens one diamond. Your partner doubles, you bid one spade and he raises to three spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Bid four spades (and if you're doubled, redouble if you trust your partner). Partner's double obliged you to respond; your one spade promised neither strength nor good spades. Since you have five spades and a useful king, you'll easily take ten tricks.

Both sides vulnerable


S A K 9 5

H A 2

D 10 7 6 4 2

C Q 2


S Q 3

H Q J 7

D A Q J 9

C J 10 8 7


S J 8 6 4 2

H K 9

D 8 5 3

C 9 6 3


S 10 7

H 10 8 6 5 4 3


C A K 5 4

East South West North

Pass Pass 1 D Pass

Pass 1 H Pass 2 NT

Pass 4 H All Pass

Opening lead -- C J

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate