Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 9 3

{heart} A 2

{diam} A Q J 9 3

{club} A 6 5 3

WEST (D)

{spade} Q J 4

{heart} K J 10 8 6 3

{diam} 8 5 2

{club} 7

EAST

{spade} K 10 8 5 2

{heart} 4

{diam} 7 6 4

{club} K Q 10 8

SOUTH

{spade} A 7 6

{heart} Q 9 7 5

{diam} K 10

{club} J 9 4 2

The bidding: WestNorthEastSouth2 {heart} 3 {diam} Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {spade} Q

Today's deal was as easy to read as the top line of an eye chart, but South managed to go wrong.

West's opening two-bid was "weak," promising a six-card suit and 7 to 10 points. South ducked the queen and jack of spades, won the third spade and ran the diamonds, pitching two hearts and a club. East threw the eight and 10 of clubs, and West let go hearts.

South next cashed the ace of clubs and led another club, but the cards worked no miracle: East won and took two spades to beat the contract.

As South ran the diamonds, he found that West had started with three diamonds, six hearts and three spades (but not four since a player who opens with a major-suit weak two-bid denies good support for the other major), so one club.

South should therefore discard three clubs on the diamonds. He cashes the ace of clubs and leads the ace and a low heart, playing low from his hand. After West takes the jack and king, he must concede the 13th trick to South's queen.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K 10 8 5 2 {heart} 4 {diam} 7 6 4 {club} K Q 10 8.

Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one spade, he bids two clubs and you raise to three clubs. Partner then bids three hearts. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's bid of three hearts is a try for game and suggests 1-3-5-4 or 0-4-5-4 pattern. Since your king of spades seems to be wasted for play at clubs and you lack the values for 3NT, sign off at four clubs. With 10 8 5 4 2, 4, K 6 4, K Q 10 8, you'd jump to five clubs.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services