N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} 5

{heart} 10 4 2

{diam} K Q J 10 6 4

{club} 10 6 3

WEST

{spade} 10 9 8 6 3

{heart} K 8 6 5

{diam} 8 3

{club} 5 2

EAST

{spade} 7 4 2

{heart} 9 7

{diam} 9 7 5 2

{club} Q 9 8 7

SOUTH (D)

{spade} A K Q J

{heart} A Q J 3

{diam} A

{club} A K J 4

The biddingSouthWestNorthEast 2 {club} Pass3 {diam} Pass6 NT (!) All Pass Opening lead: {spade} 10

For players who want to learn from the best, Eddie Kantar, one of the world's most honored writers, keeps turning out high-quality books. Today's deal is from "Eddie Kantar Teaches Topics in Declarer Play."

"After South won the first spade," Kantar says, "he led the queen of hearts, hoping someone would take the king so the 10 would be an entry to the diamonds. No luck. West ducked. South tried the jack of clubs. Surely someone would take this. No luck. East ducked.

"South took the ace of diamonds and led the jack of hearts. West refused the bait; he ducked again."

South took his spades, the ace of hearts and the A-K of clubs. After 11 tricks he knew West had the king of hearts and a spade left. So South led his last club, and East had to give dummy a diamond.

"Topics in Declarer Play," written with Kantar's inimitable humor. $21.95 postpaid, signed on request, 2700 Neilson Way 334, Santa Monica, Calif. 90405. For Eddie's other books, see www.kantarbridge.com.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} 5 {heart} 10 4 2 {diam} K Q J 10 6 4 {club} 10 6 3

You are the dealer with only the opponents vulnerable. What do you say?

Answer: Some players would open two diamonds, a weak two-bid showing a six-card suit and seven to 10 points. But at this vulnerability, a majority of experts would open three diamonds. They often take liberties with the old "rule of two and three" and preempt at the level of three with a good six-card suit.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services