Neither side vulnerable


{spade} 8 7 6 3 2

{heart} A 10

{diam} K Q 8

{club} Q 6 3


{spade} K

{heart} 7 6 4 2

{diam} A 6 5 2

{club} J 10 9 2


{spade} A 4

{heart} Q 8 3

{diam} J 10 7 4 3

{club} K 8 7


{spade} Q J 10 9 5

{heart} K J 9 5

{diam} 9

{club} A 5 4

The bidding: South WestNorthEast1 {spade} Pass3 {spade} Pass4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {club} J

"Sometimes you have to go out on a limb," North observed after South went down at today's game contract. "After all, that's where the fruit is."

South covered the jack of clubs with dummy's queen and frowned when East played the king. South then took the ace and led a diamond -- a play that was "plum" foolish.

"Orange you sporting!" West cackled, and he grabbed his ace and cashed two clubs. The defense also got the ace and king of trumps for a pear of undertricks.

If you were South, how would you play the hand?

South's play was a lemon, but he can become the apple of North's eye by venturing out on the limb. South should lead a heart to the ace at the second trick, return the 10 to his jack and take the king, discarding a club from dummy. South then leads the high nine of hearts and pitches dummy's last club.

East ruffs, but South ruffs the club return and leads a trump. When the ace and king fall together, South loses only one diamond and two trumps.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} 8 7 6 3 2 {heart} A 10 {diam} K Q 8 {club} Q 6 3.

Your partner opens one club, you respond one spade and he bids 1NT. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Raise to 2NT. If your partner has three-card spade support, you may belong at spades, but without special methods you can't both invite game and look for a spade fit. It's an advantage here to have a partner who would willingly raise to two spades on many hands with three-card support.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services