Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} A K J 6 3

{heart} A 6

{diam} Q 9 8 6 4 3

{club} None

WEST

{spade} 8 4

{heart} Q 7 5 4

{diam} K 5

{club} Q J 10 8 4

EAST

{spade} 10 9 7 2

{heart} 3

{diam} J 10 2

{club} K 9 7 6 3

SOUTH

{spade} Q 5

{heart} K J 10 9 8 2

{diam} A 7

{club} A 5 2

The bidding:NorthEastSouthWest1 {diam}Pass 1 {heart} Pass1 {spade}Pass 2 {club} Pass2 {spade}Pass 3 {heart}Pass4 {heart}Pass 6 {heart}All Pass Opening lead: {club} Q

The inventor of Cliffs Notes was asked how he came up with the idea. "Well," he replied, "to make a long story short -- "

To make a long story short, South lost a cold slam. He ruffed the first club with dummy's low trump, cashed the ace, came to the queen of spades -- East signaled with the ten -- took the king of trumps and led the jack to West's queen.

South would have been safe if West had led his last trump, a diamond or a club, but instead West trusted East's "count" signal in spades and led a spade, cutting South's link with dummy. South won and discarded his last low club on a high spade, but West ruffed and led a club. South then lost a diamond and went down two.

South made it a short, sad story when he ruffed the opening lead low in dummy: He must ruff with the ace. South then leads a low trump to his jack.

If West wins and leads a spade -- no other defense is better -- South takes the queen, draws trumps and runs the spades, easily making the slam.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} Q 5 {heart} K J 10 9 8 2 {diam} A 7 {club} A 5 2.

You open one heart, your partner responds one spade, you rebid two hearts and he rebids two spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner suggests a six-card spade suit but fewer than 10 points. Game is barely possible, but the chance that partner has a minimum hand and can take only eight tricks at a spade contract is greater. Pass and take your plus.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services