N-S vulnerable


{spade} A J 8 6

{heart} K 9 8 7

{diam} J 9 5 2

{club} 6


{spade} K 10 9 4

{heart} A Q J 5

{diam} K 10 6 4 3

{club} None


{spade} Q 7 3 2

{heart} 6 4

{diam} A 8 7

{club} 10 9 7 2


{spade} 5

{heart} 10 3 2

{diam} Q

{club} A K Q J 8 5 4 3

The bidding: South WestNorthEast1 {club} Dbl1 {heart} 1 {spade}2 {club} 4 {spade} PassPass5 {club} DblAll Pass Opening lead: {spade} 4

The strong team of Lynn Baker, Daniella von Arnim, Sabine Auken, Lynn Deas, Beth Palmer and Kerri Sanborn won the Women's Knockout Teams at the ACBL Summer Championships. Only 19 teams entered the event. Could it be that the popularity of gender-based events is waning?

At one table in today's deal from the final, South took a "phantom sacrifice" at five clubs. North might have doubled four spades -- that contract would have failed -- but she didn't expect South to bid again and was reluctant to betray the trump position. South went down one, losing 200 points.

In the replay, von Arnim opened with a "Gambling 3NT" as South, a device popular in tournament play: She showed a solid minor suit and little else. When West doubled, East passed: For her to try four spades was by no means indicated.

West led a diamond, and East took the ace and shifted to a spade, the best defense. But von Arnim took eight club tricks and a spade for plus 750 points and a 14-IMP gain.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} K 10 9 4 {heart} A Q J 5 {diam} K 10 6 4 3 {club} None.

Your partner opens one spade, and the next player passes. What do you say?

Answer: Slam is likely, especially if your partner has honors such as the ace of diamonds and the king of hearts and little "wasted" club strength. Many players would jump to four clubs, a "splinter" response showing a big spade fit and club shortness. Others might bid diamonds and hearts, then support the spades strongly.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services