Some bridge deals have pedigrees, like a champion bulldog. I've seen today's deal, or ones like it, several times but never knew its source until I found it in a magazine article. It's from a 1958 French tournament.

Say South takes the ace of diamonds at the second trick, goes to the queen of clubs and throws a spade on the king of diamonds. He then leads another club and would win 13 tricks if clubs broke 3-2; but as it is, East wins the fourth club and takes the queen of diamonds.

PLAYS SAFE

At rubber or party bridge, South could play safe for 12 tricks: after taking the ace of diamonds, he plays a low club from both hands. South wins the return, takes the queen of clubs and the king of diamonds, and returns to run the clubs.

Since the original deal arose in a duplicate pairs event, South might have tried for 13 tricks. He played safe instead, judging that 6NT was a fine contract few North-Souths would reach. So South could, and did, earn a top score for plus 1440.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S 10 7 6 H 8 7 4 D K 9 7 6 5 C Q 5. Dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner doubles, you bid two diamonds and he then bids three spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Since your partner doubled before bidding a suit, he has extra strength. If he'd bid only two spades next, he'd invite you to bid again. His jump to three spades isn't quite forcing; but you have three trumps, a king and a queen. Bid four spades.

South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S 10 7 6

H 8 7 4

D K 9 7 6 5

C Q 5

WEST

S Q 9 4 3

H J 10 9 3

D J 8 4 3

C 4

EAST

S J 8 2

H 6 5 2

D Q 10 2

C J 10 9 3

SOUTH

S A K 5

H A K Q

D A

C A K 8 7 6 2

South West North East

2 C Pass 2 D Pass

3 C Pass 3 D Pass

3 H Pass 4 C Pass

6 NT All Pass

Opening lead -- H J