Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 8 3

{heart} K 10 8 5 2

{diam} A K Q 10

{club} 5 3

WEST

{spade} 5

{heart} Q 9 6

{diam} J 7 6 3

{club} 10 9 8 7 4

EAST

{spade} Q J 6 2

{heart} J 7 4 3

{diam} 9 2

{club} A K 6

SOUTH (D)

{spade} A K 10 9 7 4

{heart} A

{diam} 8 5 4

{club} Q J 2

The bidding: South West NorthEast1 {spade} Pass2 {heart} Pass2 {spade}Pass3 {diam} Pass3 {spade} Pass4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {club} 10

The afternoon's Chicago game had ended, and Wendy, my club's feminist member, announced that she was going home to fix dinner for some friends.

"Amazing," Cy the Cynic muttered to me. "I thought all she knew about cooking was how to bring a man to a boil."

Cy, a shameless chauvinist, and Wendy are fierce adversaries, especially when they cut as partners.

In today's deal Cy led the ten of clubs against South's game, and Wendy, East, took the king -- and shifted to the deuce of diamonds!

Cy's temperature shot up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

Declarer won and next cashed the A-K of trumps. When Cy discarded, South took the ace of hearts, led a diamond to dummy, threw a club on the king of hearts and led a high diamond. Wendy ruffed and took the ace of clubs and a trump. Down one.

Cy mopped sweat from his brow, accepted his 100 points and mumbled that God must look after fools and his partners.

I didn't tell Cy, but Wendy's diamond shift was far from foolish. Say she cashes two clubs and leads a heart. South wins and sees that the only danger is losing two trump tricks. So South adopts a safety play: He takes the ace of trumps, leads a diamond to dummy and returns a trump, playing the ten if East plays low.

Wendy's diamond shift looked to everybody like a singleton, so South couldn't afford the safety play.

If Wendy had a singleton diamond and, say, J-6-2 in trumps, South would lose a cold game if he played safe.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services