Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 9

{heart} A 10 7 6

{diam} A J 10 5

{club} 10 9 8 3

WEST

{spade} J 10 6 4 2

{heart} 9

{diam} 9 8 6 3

{club} 6 5 2

EAST (D)

{spade} K Q 7 5

{heart} Q 8 5 4 3

{diam} 7

{club} A Q 4

SOUTH

{spade} A 8 3

{heart} K J 2

{diam} K Q 4 2

{club} K J 7

The bidding: EastSouthWestNorth1 {heart} 1 NT Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {spade} 4

Some of our players had attended a big tournament in another city over the weekend, and Cy the Cynic attributed his poor performance to a lack of sleep.

"I roomed with Unlucky Louie," Cy grumbled, "and he snored so loud it sounded like he was driving his hogs to market."

Cy showed me today's deal and admitted he'd gone down at an icy-cold 3NT. When West led a spade, Cy won the third spade, led a diamond to dummy's ten and returned a low heart to his jack. The finesse won, but Cy took only three hearts, four diamonds and a spade.

It's a mystery why when two people share a room, the snorer always goes to sleep first, and it's also a mystery why Cy didn't give himself a chance by returning the 10 of hearts from dummy at Trick Five.

East's queen would cover, and when West's nine fell, Cy could return a diamond to dummy and let the seven of hearts ride. He could then take the jack of hearts, two more diamonds, and the ace of hearts to fulfill the contract.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K Q 7 5 {heart} Q 8 5 4 3 {diam} 7 {club} A Q 4.

The dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

Answer: Since your partner promises opening values or more, and you have an opening bid yourself, your side should have a game. Jump to four spades or, with a good partner, cue-bid two hearts to look for your best game contract. To pass for penalty, you'd need a much stouter heart holding.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services