South dealer

Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

S K 8 7 6 4 2

H 7 2

D 10 9 6

C J 7

WEST

S J 10

H 10 5

D K 5 4 3 2

C K 8 5 4

EAST

S Q 9 5

H 6 3

D Q J 8

C Q 10 9 6 2

SOUTH

S A 3

H A K Q J 9 8 4

D A 7

C A 3

South West North East

2 H Pass 2 NT Pass

3 H Pass 3 S Pass

6 H All Pass

Opening lead -- S J

A lady should beware when a man gives her a pearl necklace; there may be a string attached. When an expert declarer gives away a trick, a defender better beware also.

South took the ace of spades and wondered how he could pull some strings to avoid losing a trick in each minor suit. There was no legitimate way; but South saw a chance if West would string along. South therefore led a spade to the king and ruffed a spade with the nine of trumps. West pounced by overruffing with the ten -- and lost 1430 points.

West got out with his last trump; but South won and led the four of trumps to dummy's seven. He threw a club and a diamond on the good spades and claimed.

East wanted to string up West, and I can't blame him. West should know South is up to something when he neither draws trumps nor tries to ruff losers in dummy.

If West discards on the third spade, South loses a club and a diamond; but credit South with a play only a first-stringer would spot.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold: S K 8 7 6 4 2 H 7 2 D 10 9 6 C J 7. Your partner opens 1NT, and the next player bids two hearts. What do you say?

ANSWER: Bid two spades. To bid (and freely at that) with a mere four points in high cards may seem aggressive; but since your partner has described his strength and distribution, it's up to you to compete. You'll have an excellent chance to bring home two spades; and if you pass, the enemy may make two hearts.