N-S vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} 4

{heart} A K

{diam} K 7 6 2

{club} K J 10 9 6 2

WEST

{spade} 9 6 2

{heart} Q 9 8 6 3

{diam} J 9 3

{club} 4 3

EAST

{spade} K J 10 8 7

{heart} J 10 4

{diam} A Q

{club} Q 8 7

SOUTH

{spade} A Q 5 3

{heart} 7 5 2

{diam} 10 8 5 4

{club} A 5

The bidding: NorthEastSouthWest 1 {club} 1 {spade} 1 NT Pass3 {club} Pass3 {spade} Pass 3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {spade} 2

Crime doesn't pay; when it does, it's called something more respectable. South's play in today's deal was a crime and couldn't even be called respectable.

East put up the king of spades at the first trick, and South took the ace, cashed the ace of clubs and finessed with the jack, losing to East's queen. South expected a spade return, whereupon he could claim nine tricks, but East shifted instead to the jack of hearts, and West signaled encouragement with the nine.

South won and cashed four clubs but then had to lead a diamond from dummy. East took the queen, led another heart, won the next diamond and led his last heart to beat the contract.

South committed a white-collar crime: He should lead a low club to the jack at Trick Two. If East wins and shifts to a heart, South wins and gets back to his hand with the ace of clubs to take the queen of spades.

South can then lead a heart to dummy and run the clubs, winning five clubs, two spades and two hearts.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q 5 3 {heart} 7 5 2 {diam} 10 8 5 4 {club} A 5.

Your partner opens one heart, you respond one spade and he bids two clubs. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Bid three hearts, inviting game. Since your values are prime, this hand was too strong for a raise to two hearts originally. A bid of two hearts now would suggest a weaker hand with only a doubleton heart. If your seven of hearts were the king, you'd jump to four hearts.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services