Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} K J 4

{heart} Q J 9 2

{diam} J 8 4

{club} A K 5

WEST

{spade} A 9 7 6 2

{heart} A 7 6 4

{diam} 10 9

{club} 6 3

EAST

{spade} 8 3

{heart} 5 3

{diam} Q 7 6 5 3 2

{club} Q 7 2

SOUTH (D)

{spade} Q 10 5

{heart} K 10 8

{diam} A K

{club} J 10 9 8 4

The bidding:SouthWestNorthEast1 {club} Pass1 {heart} Pass1 NTPass3 NTAll Pass Opening lead: {spade} 6

Trying to appease Grapefruit, our club member who spreads cheer wherever he doesn't go, is like feeding steaks to a lion and hoping it'll become a vegetarian.

Grapefruit was today's North, and South won the first spade with the ten and let the jack of clubs ride. East won and returned a spade, and West took the ace and led a third spade. South then had eight tricks and needed a heart trick. When he led a heart, West won and cashed two spades for down one, and Grapefruit told South that if they taxed his brain, revenue would slow to a trickle.

South tried appeasement. "Sorry," he said, "I've lost so many finesses lately I'm at my wit's end."

"It couldn't have taken you long to get there," Grapefruit roared.

South forgot to count his tricks. If he forces out the ace of hearts at Trick Two, he has three hearts, two clubs, two spades and two diamonds.

"That Grapefruit is all right in his place," a kibitzer whispered to me. "It just hasn't been dug yet."

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K J 4 {heart} Q J 9 2 {diam} J 8 4 {club} A K 5.

Your partner opens one club, you bid one heart and he jumps to 2NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Since your partner promises about 19 points with balanced distribution, your total is about 34 points, and a small slam at no trump should be all but certain. Do your duty and raise to 6NT. Don't worry about your lack of values in diamonds. Partner is surely well stocked in that suit.

(c) 2005, Tribune Media Services