Neither side vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} 10 8 4

{heart} K 7 4 3

{diam} 9 5 2

{club} Q 5 3

WEST

{spade} K 7 5

{heart} A J 8 5

{diam} K Q 10 8

{club} 10 9

EAST

{spade} J 9 3 2

{heart} None

{diam} A 7 6 4

{club} J 8 7 6 2

SOUTH

{spade} A Q 6

{heart} Q 10 9 6 2

{diam} J 3

{club} A K 4

The bidding: North EastSouthWestPassPass1 {heart} Pass3 {heart} (!)Dbl (!) 4 {heart} DblAll Pass Opening lead: {diam} K

Brad Moss was today's East near the end of a close semifinal match in the Spingold Teams, the ACBL Summer Championships' major event.

North's raise to three hearts was preemptive; most players would have wanted better distribution. Moss then stepped in with a remarkable double on a hand that had perfect shape if not many high cards.

When West, Fred Gitelman, doubled four hearts, Moss must have been nervous, but Gitelman cashed two diamonds and led a third diamond. South ruffed and led the queen of trumps, and West took his ace and shifted to a club.

South could have escaped for down two by finessing in trumps and eventually end-playing West with a trump to lead from the king of spades. But South assumed that East had something for his double, tried a spade finesse with the queen and went down three.

In the other room, North-South played three hearts undoubled, down two. Moss's team gained nine IMPs and won the match by five, a just reward for his bold action.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q 6 {heart} Q 10 9 6 2 {diam} J 3 {club} A K 4.

South in today's deal opened one heart with this hand. Do you agree or would you open 1NT?

Answer: In South's bidding system, a 1NT opening might not have been an option. Using a "Standard" system, expert opinion would be divided. Some experts never open 1NT with a five-card major suit, but many would open 1NT here since they can describe the hand's strength and pattern in one bid.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services