Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} A 10 5 3 2

{heart} A K Q 10 9

{diam} A

{club} 8 5

WEST (D)

{spade} K 4

{heart} J 5 2

{diam} Q 10 4 3 2

{club} 7 3 2

EAST

{spade} J 9 7 6

{heart} 7 6 3

{diam} K 9

{club} J 10 6 4

SOUTH

{spade} Q 8

{heart} 8 4

{diam} J 8 7 6 5

{club} A K Q 9

The bidding:

West

North

East

South Pass

1 {spade}

Pass

2 {club} Pass

2 {heart}

Pass

2 NT Pass

3 {heart}

Pass

3 {spade} Pass

6 NT

All Pass

Opening lead {diam} 3

Few observers would have bet on Mike Moss's squad in the Spingold Teams at the ACBL Summer Championships. Moss, Martin Schifko, Allan Graves and Bryan Maksymetz were seeded 22nd but ousted several favored teams to reach the final. It was like a Monday qualifier leading a PGA Tour event after 54 holes.

The other finalists were the defenders: George Jacobs-Ralph Katz and four Italian champions -- Duboin, Lauria, Versace, Bocchi -- but Moss took an early lead on today's remarkable deal.

Maksymetz-Graves got to a shaky 6NT, and when West led a diamond, prospects looked horrible. Graves won and desperately led a club to his nine. It held. He took dummy's top hearts -- the jack fell politely -- two more hearts and three more clubs.

With three tricks to go, dummy had A-10-5 of spades, and Graves had Q-8 of spades and the jack of diamonds. Both defenders had to keep one diamond and two spades. If West bared his king of spades, Graves could lead a low spade. If East bared his jack, Graves could lead the queen.

Graves then led a diamond, and East's king won. When East returned a low spade, Graves inferred that if East had the king, he'd have pitched his king of diamonds to avoid being end-played, so Graves played low and made the slam. The audience went wild.

What happened in the end? Moss led at halftime but succumbed to a rally. Jacobs won the Spingold, but Moss could be just as proud.

(c)2002, Tribune Media Services