N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} Q 9 7 5 2

{heart} J 8

{diam} K Q J 10

{club} K Q

WEST

{spade} K 10 6 3

{heart} 5 3

{diam} 9 3

{club} J 10 9 6 2

EAST

{spade} 8 4

{heart} K 7 4

{diam} A 8 6 4

{club} 8 7 4 3

SOUTH (D)

{spade} A J

{heart} A Q 10 9 6 2

{diam} 7 5 2

{club} A 5

The bidding: SouthWestNorthEast 1 {heart} Pass1 {spade} Pass 3 {heart} Pass4 NT Pass 5 {spade} Pass6 {heart}All Pass Opening lead: {club} J

I'm getting to the age where it's harder to find temptation than resist it, but like many players, I still have trouble resisting the temptation to lead trumps early as declarer.

Today's declarer won the first club with dummy's king and let the jack of trumps ride. He drew trumps and next led a diamond. West signaled high, suggesting a doubleton, and East let dummy's king win and also refused the next diamond.

Since dummy had no more entries, South couldn't gain by leading a third diamond: He tried a spade to his jack. West won and led a club, and South lost a diamond at the end. Down one.

South gets home if he resists the temptation to finesse in trumps at Trick Two. He must win the first club in his hand with the ace and lead a diamond. If East plays low, South picks up the trumps and forces out the ace of diamonds.

East shifts to a spade, but South takes the ace and reaches dummy with the king of clubs to discard the jack of spades on a good diamond.

DAILY QUESTION

You hold:

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

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

ANSWER: Since a bid of three diamonds would be a "high reverse" and would promise more than minimum strength, you must choose between a bid of 2NT and a rebid of two spades. Neither action is appetizing, but most players would think the spade rebid implied a stronger suit. Hence try 2NT.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services