Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} K Q 4

{heart} A K J 9 6

{diam} A K J 2

{club} 5

WEST

{spade} J 10 8 5

{heart} 5 2

{diam} 8 5

{club} K Q J 10 4

EAST

{spade} 9 2

{heart} Q 10 8 7

{diam} 9 7 6 3

{club} 9 7 2

SOUTH

{spade} A 7 6 3

{heart} 4 3

{diam} Q 10 4

{club} A 8 6 3

The bidding: North EastSouthWest 1 {heart} Pass1 {spade} Pass3 {diam} Pass 3 NT Pass 5 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {club} K

"Ialways heard it's never too late for a woman to keep an appointment," Cy the Cynic told me, "but I changed my mind after watching Wendy play this deal."

Cy, a shameless chauvinist, and Wendy, an ardent feminist, are fierce adversaries, even as partners. In a money game, they landed at the odd contract of five spades.

"Wendy eyed my dummy sourly," Cy said, "took her ace of clubs, ruffed a club, cashed the K-Q of trumps, led a diamond to her ten and tried the ace of trumps. When East discarded, Wendy reverted to the diamonds, but West ruffed the third diamond and cashed two clubs."

Wendy's appointment with destiny came at Trick One; after that it was too late to make the contract. Wendy must refuse the first trick.

If West leads another club, Wendy ruffs in dummy, takes the K-Q of trumps, leads a diamond to her hand and leads the ace and a low trump. She wins any return and has three trumps in her hand, a ruff in dummy, a club, four diamonds and two hearts.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A 7 6 3 {heart} 4 3 {diam} Q 10 4 {club} A 8 6 3.

Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one spade and he raises to four spades. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner's leap to game is not a shutout bid: He promises about 20 points with four-card spade support. Since you have three useful honors, you can make one try for slam. Cue-bid five clubs. If partner's hand is K Q 5 4, A 7, A K J 8 3, K 7, you'll have a fine chance for 13 tricks.

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