N-S vulnerable


{spade} 8 5 3

{heart} A 7 6 3

{diam} J 10 4 3

{club} Q 3


{spade} 7 4

{heart} K 8 5

{diam} K 9 7 5 2

{club} 9 6 2


{spade} A Q J 9 6 2

{heart} 10

{diam} A 8

{club} 10 8 7 4


{spade} K 10

{heart} Q J 9 4 2

{diam} Q 6

{club} A K J 5

The bidding: West North EastSouth Pass Pass1 {spade} 2 {heart} Pass 3 {heart} Pass4 {heart} All Pass Opening lead: {spade} 7

"I couldn't have gotten a word in if I'd folded it in half."

A club player was telling me about the postmortem of today's deal. He'd been West, and East was Cy the Cynic. Against four hearts, Cy took the ace of spades and returned the queen. South won, let the queen of trumps ride, pinning Cy's ten, drew trumps and claimed 10 tricks.

"I wanted to say that Cy might have shifted to the ace of diamonds at Trick Two," West said, "but I never got a chance. Cy blustered that he needed the ace of diamonds as an entry to cash a spade trick if I'd led a singleton, and what difference did it make anyhow?"

I'll say this for Cy: He doesn't take part in an argument; he takes it all. Cy's spade continuation could have been right (although the fall of South's ten was suspicious), but he prevails if he shifts to the ace and a low diamond.

West wins and leads a third diamond, and Cy ruffs with his ten of trumps. South overruffs but must lose to West's eight of trumps.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K 10 {heart} Q J 9 4 2 {diam} Q 6 {club} A K J 5.

You open one heart, your partner responds one spade, you bid two clubs and he returns to two hearts. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner has fewer than 10 points and only a doubleton heart: With three-card heart support, he'd have raised to two hearts at his first turn. Although you have a little extra strength, game is unlikely since you have several minor honors. Pass.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services