Unlucky Louie says when his ship finally comes in, there'll be a dockworkers strike. But after today's deal, North wanted to strike Louie.

Louie took the ace of hearts and cashed the ace of trumps. "Naturally," he sighed when East discarded.

Louie next took the K-Q of trumps and led a diamond, ducking in dummy since he knew East had the ace. East took the jack and led a heart. Louie ruffed and ducked another diamond; but East won with the queen, and Louie also lost a trump and a club.

Louie can afford a trump loser but needs to set up the diamonds for a club discard; he should lead a diamond from dummy at Trick Two. If East returns a club, Louie takes the ace and cashes the king of trumps.

If both defenders followed, Louie could draw trumps and claim. But when East discards, Louie ducks a second diamond, wins the next club in dummy and ruffs a diamond. He returns a trump to the ace and throws a club on a good diamond, losing two diamonds and a trump.


You hold: S A 5 H A 7 4 D K 7 6 4 3 C K 6 3. With both sides vulnerable, the dealer, at your right, opens one heart. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is an attractive hand, with 14 good points; but you can't double with poor support for the other major suit, and you lack the strength to bid 1NT. An overcall in diamonds on a flimsy suit at the level of two begs for trouble and has little to gain; game in diamonds is far away. Pass.

Both sides vulnerable


S A 5

H A 7 4

D K 7 6 4 3

C K 6 3


S J 9 8 3

H J 8 2

D 10 9 5

C Q 10 8


S None

H K Q 10 9 6 3


C J 9 7 2


S K Q 10 7 6 4 2

H 5

D 8 2

C A 5 4

East South West North

1 H 1 S Pass 2 NT

3 H 4 S All Pass

Opening lead -- H 2

(C) 2000, Los Angeles Times Syndicate