South's game is cold 78 percent of the time: when trumps break 2-1. It's cold part of the rest of the time if West doesn't know his defensive card combinations.

South ruffs the second club, leads a trump to dummy's ace and probably mutters something such as "Dirty ratafretch" when East discards. South then ruffs dummy's last club, takes the king of trumps and three spades, and exits with a trump.


West must break the diamonds to avoid conceding a ruff-sluff. If he leads the eight, South will no doubt play low from dummy. East will have to put up the queen; else South wins with the nine. South then takes the ace and returns a diamond toward dummy's jack, losing only one diamond.

If instead West leads the king of diamonds, South can guess to refuse the trick and play low from dummy on the next diamond.

To defeat the contract, West must lead the ten of diamonds, a "surrounding play," as if he had K-10-9. Whatever South does, the defense gets two diamonds.


You hold: S A K J H A 8 7 2 D J 6 3 C K 5 2. Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart and he jumps to three diamonds. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: Partner promises six good diamonds with about 16 points. Since you have 16 points, slam is likely. My inclination would be to bid 6NT: if partner has a hand such as Q4, KQ5, AKQ1084, 64, 6NT is cold; but a club opening lead through the king might beat six diamonds.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable



H A 8 7 2

D J 6 3

C K 5 2


S 7 4 3

H Q J 5

D K 10 8

C Q J 10 6


S 8 6 5 2

H None

D Q 7 4 2

C A 9 8 7 3


S Q 10 9

H K 10 9 6 4 3

D A 9 5

C 4

North East South West

1 NT Pass 4 H All Pass

Opening lead -- C Q