Both sides vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} A Q 10 6 4

{heart} Q

{diam} 6 5 2

{club} 7 6 5 2

WEST

{spade} J 7

{heart} 9 5 4 2

{diam} K 9 8

{club} K J 10 4

EAST

{spade} 9 5 3

{heart} K 10 8 3

{diam} J 10 4

{club} A 8 3

SOUTH (D)

{spade} K 8 2

{heart} A J 7 6

{diam} A Q 7 3

{club} Q 9

The bidding: South WestNorth East1 NT Pass 2 {heart} Pass2 {spade} Pass2 NT Pass4 {spade}All Pass Opening lead: {heart} 5

The Spingold Teams, the ACBL Summer Championships' major event, went to one of the teams that represented the United States in the 2005 Bermuda Bowl in Portugal: Russ Ekeblad, Mike Becker, Fred Gitelman, Eric Greco, Geoff Hampson and Brad Moss.

In an early-round match, Becker played at four spades after North offered a choice of games with a transfer sequence. West led a heart -- queen, king, ace -- and Becker conceded a club, won the trump shift and conceded a club. He won the next trump with the king, took the jack of hearts, ruffed a heart in dummy, ruffed a club, ruffed a heart and drew East's last trump.

Becker could then have finessed with the queen of diamonds but lost nothing by exiting with dummy's last club.

When West won, he had to lead a diamond from his king, conceding the contract.

Declarer did well, but after he opted to play at spades instead of at 3NT, suggesting a possible ruffing value, West's opening lead should have been a trump. South would fail.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} J 7 {heart} 9 5 4 2 {diam} K 9 8 {club} K J 10 4.

Your partner opens one spade, you respond 1NT, he bids two diamonds and you try two spades. Partner next bids three clubs. What do you say?

Answer: Your partner is trying for game and has painted a picture of his pattern to help you judge how well the hands fit. Since your values are near a maximum and you have no wasted heart honors, you can make an aggressive move: Bid four clubs or four spades.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services