Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} K J 5 4 2

{heart} 3

{diam} 8 5 2

{club} K 10 6 4

WEST

{spade} None

{heart} K 10 8 7 6

{diam} K Q 10 4 3

{club} Q 8 7

EAST

{spade} A Q 10

{heart} Q 9

{diam} J 9 7 6

{club} J 9 5 2

SOUTH (D)

{spade} 9 8 7 6 3

{heart} A J 5 4 2

{diam} A

{club} A 3

The bidding: SouthWestNorthEast1 {spade} 2 {heart} 4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {diam} K

Ilive in a typical small Southern town, a jewel set in the west Alabama countryside. The phone book has one yellow page, people ask how you are -- and actually listen when you tell them -- and there's no place to go where you shouldn't.

In today's deal, South went someplace he shouldn't have -- and got into trouble. When West led the king of diamonds against four spades, South won and saw that with luck in trumps, he might have only one loser. So South led a trump at Trick Two.

When West discarded, South wanted to reverse course. But East took dummy's jack with the queen, cashed the ace and led the 10, sacrificing his third trump trick but drawing two of South's trumps for one. South then took in all five trumps, a heart, a diamond and two clubs. Down one.

East could have achieved the same result by exiting with a heart after he took the queen of trumps. When South tried to ruff hearts in dummy, East could overruff the third heart and cash the ace of trumps to hold South to nine tricks.

South should leave the trumps alone. Since he has no side-suit losers, he can afford three losers in trumps. What South must not do is let the defense draw some of his trumps.

At Trick Two, South starts a crossruff: ace of hearts, heart ruff, diamond ruff, heart ruff. East can overruff with the 10, but if he leads a diamond, South can continue his crossruff effectively. Nor can East prevail by leading the ace and queen of trumps; then South loses two trumps and one trick in the end.

(c)2004, Tribune Media Services