Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} K 6 5

{heart} Q 4

{diam} 7 4 3 2

{club} A K Q 2

WEST

{spade} Q 10 4

{heart} A 2

{diam} A K J 8 5

{club} 10 8 3

EAST

{spade} 9 8

{heart} 8 7 6 5

{diam} Q 10 6

{club} J 9 6 5

SOUTH

{spade} A J 7 3 2

{heart} K J 10 9 3

{diam} 9

{club} 7 4

The bidding: NorthEastSouthWest1 {club} Pass 1 {spade} 2 {diam}2 {spade} Pass 3 {heart} Pass 4 {club} Pass 4 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {diam} K

Being declarer with a trump suit is like raising a child: It comes with rewards and responsibilities. You can use your trump suit to take extra tricks, but only if you keep control.

Today's declarer ruffed the second diamond and led a trump to the king and a trump to his jack. West won and led a third diamond.

South ruffed again, but if he drew West's last trump, West would cash two diamonds when he took the ace of hearts. So South instead led a heart to the queen and another heart. West won and led a fourth diamond, forcing South to ruff with the ace of trumps, and West's ten was high. Down one.

South keeps control if he starts the trumps by cashing the A-K. (He might also lead a heart at Trick Three.) He can afford a trump loser but can't give West a chance to lead another diamond. South then forces out the ace of hearts. West can cash his queen of trumps and lead a diamond, but South is in control: He ruffs and runs the hearts.

This week: trump control.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} Q 10 4 {heart} A 2 {diam} A K J 8 5 {club} 10 8 3.

You open one diamond, your partner bids one spade, you raise to two spades, and he bids three hearts. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's three hearts is a try for game. He asks you to bid game with any maximum raise or with a fair raise containing heart strength. You have enough values for four spades, but you lack a fourth trump. Bid four diamonds. If partner bids four spades, you'll pass.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services