Both sides vulnerable


{spade} A Q

{heart} J 10 8

{diam} J 10 8 5 2

{club} 10 9 3


{spade} 9 8 6 5 2

{heart} 9 2

{diam} K 4

{club} 8 6 4 2


{spade} 10 7 3

{heart} K Q 7 5 4

{diam} A 7

{club} Q J 7


{spade} K J 4

{heart} A 6 3

{diam} Q 9 6 3

{club} A K 5

The bidding: East SouthWestNorth1 {heart} 1 NT Pass3 NTAll Pass Opening lead: {heart} 9

Crime doesn't pay, at least on television. It certainly didn't pay in today's deal -- not, at least, for declarer.

When West led the nine of hearts against 3NT in deference to East's opening bid, East covered dummy's jack with the queen. South took the ace and led a diamond, and West rose with the king and led his last heart. East won, led a third heart to set up his suit, got in with the ace of diamonds and cashed two hearts for down one.

What crimes were committed?

South perpetrated a felony when he took the first heart. He should duck and win the heart return with the ten, South then leads a diamond, and if West takes the king, he has no more hearts. If West leads a black card, South wins and forces out the ace of diamonds for an overtrick.

East's defense was criminal but went unpunished: He must play low on the first heart, letting dummy's jack win. When South starts the diamonds next, West wins and leads his last heart to defeat the contract.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q {heart} J 10 8 {diam} J 10 8 5 2 {club} 10 9 3.

Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT, he bids two hearts and you return to two spades. Partner next bids three hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's willingness to bid again despite your weak preference shows game interest as well as 10 or more major-suit cards. Since your spade and heart honors are golden, raise to four hearts. Partner may hold K J 7 6 5, A K 7 5 2, 4, A 6.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services