N-S vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} J 7 6 5

{heart} A K J 10

{diam} 6

{club} Q 6 5 2

WEST

{spade} Q 10 9 4 3

{heart} Q 8 3 2

{diam} 9 4 3

{club} 8

EAST

{spade} 8

{heart} 9 7 5

{diam} J 10 8 2

{club} K J 10 7 3

SOUTH

{spade} A K 2

{heart} 6 4

{diam} A K Q 7 5

{club} A 9 4

The bidding: NorthEast South West1 {club} Pass1 {diam} Pass1 {heart} Pass2 {spade} Pass3 {spade} Pass4 {club} Pass4 {spade}Pass6 NT All PassOpening lead -- {heart} 2

The American Contract Bridge League's Summer Championships is the biggest of its three annual 10-day extravaganzas. The 2005 edition in Atlanta held true to form.

Mike Passell was today's declarer in the Grand National Teams, an event that begins with local eliminations. When North opened one club, Passell could hardly stay out of slam. But North had a light hand (the 6NT contract is not a good advertisement for light, shapely opening bids), and the outlook for South was dim.

When West led a heart, Passell won a finesse with the ten. He took the A-K of spades, and matters did not improve when East threw a club.

Passell found a winning line. He led a heart to the jack, took the A-K of hearts, cashed the top diamonds and led a fourth diamond.

All was well. The diamonds broke 4-3, making South's last diamond good, and when East won, he had to lead a club from the king. So Passell took four diamonds, four hearts, two clubs and two spades.

To come: Atlanta deals.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} J 7 6 5 {heart} A K J 10 {diam} 6 {club} Q 6 5 2.

Your partner opens one diamond, you bid one heart, he rebids two diamonds and you try 2NT. Partner next bids three clubs. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner's bidding suggests six diamonds, four clubs and minimum high-card values. If he had more than a minimum or held 5-5 or 5-4 in the minors, his second bid would have been two clubs. Pass. Chances for game are remote.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services