Both sides vulnerable


{spade} K J 4

{heart} 6 3 2

{diam} 8 7 4 3

{club} A Q 2


{spade} None

{heart} J 10 9 8

{diam} K J 10 6 5

{club} J 7 5 3


{spade} Q 10 9 8

{heart} 7 5 4

{diam} Q 9 2

{club} 9 8 6


{spade} A 7 6 5 3 2

{heart} A K Q

{diam} A

{club} K 10 4

The bidding: SouthWestNorthEast1 {spade} Pass2 {spade} Pass 3 {club} Pass4 {spade} Pass5 {spade} Pass 6 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} J

The fabulous Elfreda (Ducky) van Tassel was at the club today. Depending on how the market closed, Ducky is the richest person in town or close. All her children know higher mathematics: Ask them what you get when you take 51 from 100, and they'll say control of the company.

Ducky handles stock splits better than bad splits at bridge. As today's declarer, she led a low trump at the second trick. When West discarded, Ducky balanced her dignity on the end of her nose and conceded two trump tricks.

Can South make the slam?

Ducky couldn't, but a South concerned about a 4-0 trump break cashes the ace of diamonds at Trick Two and then leads a trump. When West discards, South can take the king, ruff a diamond, cash two more hearts, lead a club to dummy and ruff a diamond. South next takes two more clubs and leads dummy's last diamond at the 11th trick.

East, down to the Q-10-9 of trumps, ruffs, and South underruffs! East must then lead from the queen of trumps.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K J 4 {heart} 6 3 2 {diam} 8 7 4 3 {club} A Q 2.

Today's North raised South's opening bid of one spade to two spades with this hand. Do you agree?

Answer: I agree. North had 10 high-card points when a single raise is supposed to show nine points at most, but North's 3-3-4-3 pattern was a negative feature, and his A-Q were marooned in a short suit. Nothing is wrong with having a bit extra for your bid. Your partner may appreciate it.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services