N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} J 4 3 2

{heart} J

{diam} Q 8 4 2

{club} A K J 3

WEST (D)

{spade} A 8 7 6

{heart} K Q 7 3

{diam} J 10 9

{club} 8 2

EAST

{spade} Q 10 9 5

{heart} 10 9 8 5 2

{diam} A

{club} 9 7 5

SOUTH

{spade} K

{heart} A 6 4

{diam} K 7 6 5 3

{club} Q 10 6 4

The bidding: West NorthEast South Pass 1 {club} Pass 1 {diam} Pass 1 {spade} Pass 3 {club} Pass 3 {diam} Pass 5 {diam} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} K

"My husband loves to fish," a fan writes, "and it amazes me that he can sit in a boat all day waiting for a bite, yet sit down to play bridge and display no patience whatever."

My fan's husband was declarer at today's game. "He took the ace of hearts," she says, "and led a trump to the queen. East won and returned a spade, and West took the ace and also got a trump trick. Down one.

"I told my hubby he shouldn't have been so quick to lead trumps. He took the bait and asked why. Will you tell him?"

South wants to lead the first trump through the defender who has the ace, in case it's singleton. To get information, South can patiently ruff a heart at Trick Two and return the jack of spades: queen, king, ace.

South then knows East has the ace of diamonds: West, who passed as dealer, has shown the K-Q of hearts and an ace. So South ruffs the spade return, leads a club to dummy and returns a low trump, making the contract.

This week: discovery plays.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A 8 7 6 {heart} K Q 7 3 {diam} J 10 9 {club} 8 2.

Dealer, at your left, opens three clubs. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner's double is for takeout: He promises a hand worth at least 17 points with support for the unbid suits. Hence you should have a game, most likely in a major suit. Since partner may have better support for one major than for the other, cue-bid four clubs to let him choose.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services