Neither side vulnerable


{spade} A 7

{heart} A K 5

{diam} 10 7 5 4

{club} K J 9 8


{spade} J 9 3 2

{heart} 9 8 4 3

{diam} K Q 9 6

{club} Q


{spade} 10 8 5 4

{heart} 10 7 2

{diam} 8 3

{club} A 7 5 2


{spade} K Q 6

{heart} Q J 6

{diam} A J 2

{club} 10 6 4 3

The bidding:SouthWestNorthEast1{club}Pass2{club}Pass2 NTPass3 NTAll Pass

Opening lead: {spade} 2

Here's another fine deal from the ACBL Spring Championships. Bart Bramley read the cards well to land two valuable overtricks in the North American Pairs.

North's raise to two clubs was "inverted" and strong. At 3NT Bramley won the first spade with the queen and led a club: queen, king, ace. East returned a spade to the ace (not best).

Bramley then cashed three clubs, noting that West threw two hearts and a diamond. The diamond discard was revealing: West's pattern had been 4-4-4-1 (with a five-card suit he'd have led it), but he was unlikely to have diamonds such as Q-9-8-6 or K-9-8-6 since a diamond discard might cost a trick.

So Bramley placed West with K-Q-9-6 in diamonds. He cashed three hearts, and West, who couldn't afford to throw another diamond, let go a spade. Bramley then took the king of spades, removing West's last spade, and led a low diamond at Trick 11.

West took the queen but had to return a diamond from his K-9 to South's A-J. Making five!

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A 7 {heart} A K 5 {diam} 10 7 5 4 {club} K J 9 8.

With both sides vulnerable, the dealer, at your right, opens one club. What do you say?

Answer: In this age of light opening bids, to pass isn't safe: You may wind up missing a game. Still, this looks like a good defensive hand to me, and the best chance for a good result may be to penalize the opponents. Add to that the chance that a 1NT overcall might be greeted with a penalty double, and I'd pass.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services