Neither side vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 5

{heart} K Q 4

{diam} A Q 10 3

{club} Q 7 5 3 2

WEST

{spade} Q 10 9 7 3

{heart} J 9 8 6 2

{diam} None

{club} 10 9 4

EAST (D)

{spade} 8 6

{heart} A 10

{diam} 9 5 4 2

{club} A K J 8 6

SOUTH

{spade} A K J 4 2

{heart} 7 5 3

{diam} K J 8 7 6

{club} None

The bidding: East SouthWestNorth 1 {club} 1 {spade} Pass2 NT Pass 3 {diam} Pass5 {diam}All Pass Opening lead: {club} 10

It's amazing how soon we reach that bridge we were going to cross when we came to it.

Today's declarer ruffed the first club, took the A-K of spades and ruffed a spade with dummy's ten of trumps. East pitched the ten of hearts. South then ruffed a club, ruffed a spade with the queen, ruffed a club and ruffed his last spade with the ace.

South next took the K-J of trumps and led a heart. East won the last three tricks with the ace of hearts and two trumps, and South was down one.

South reached the bridge at the second trick. He can count 10 tricks: two spades, three ruffs in dummy, five trumps in his hand. To take 11 tricks, he needs a heart trick -- and he must not wait to cross that particular bridge. It's a principle of play that declarer must set up and cash side-suit winners before he crossruffs.

South must lead a heart to the king at Trick Two. If East wins and shifts to a trump, South wins, cashes the queen of hearts and crossruffs his way home.

Daily Question

You hold:

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

You are the dealer. What is your opening call?

Answer: Since you have good defensive values, the hand is a mandatory opening bid, but the choice of a suit is awkward. Some players would open one diamond, planning to bid two clubs over the likely response of one spade. I prefer to open one club and bid 1NT next. That plan slightly distorts the distribution but limits the strength of the hand quickly.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services