N-S vulnerable


{spade} A J 7 3

{heart} A 4 3

{diam} Q 8 4

{club} K 10 5


{spade} 9 5 2

{heart} K Q J 7

{diam} A 10 5

{club} 8 6 3


{spade} Q 8

{heart} 10 8 5

{diam} K 7 6 2

{club} Q 9 7 2


{spade} K 10 6 4

{heart} 9 6 2

{diam} J 9 3

{club} A J 4

The bidding: North EastSouthWest1 {club}Pass1 {spade} Pass2 {spade} All Pass Opening lead: {heart} K

Unlucky Louie, who has a wife, a mess of children and a house in perpetual disarray, says that around his house, the easiest way to find something he has misplaced is to go buy a new one.

The easiest way to locate missing honors is to let the defenders do it for you, but today's declarer won the first heart, led a trump to his king and finessed with dummy's jack. East won and returned a heart, and West took the jack and queen and exited with his last trump.

South toiled on by trying to locate the queen of clubs: He let the jack ride. East won and returned a club, and South had to start the diamonds. When he led low from dummy to his nine, West won with the 10, and the defense also got the A-K. Down two.

South did it all the hard way. He must start by refusing the first heart. If West leads another heart, South wins and exits with a heart, obliging West to break a new suit or yield a ruff-sluff.

Suppose West leads the ace and another diamond, and East wins and leads a third diamond. South next takes the A-K of trumps. When the queen falls, South can draw trumps and try to locate the queen of clubs for an overtrick, but if instead both defenders played low trumps, South would lead another trump.

Whoever took the queen would have to lead to South's advantage. A club would guess the queen for South, and a red card would let South ruff in dummy and pitch a club from his hand.

So South would make his contract the easy way: without guessing and without taking any finesses.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services