Both sides vulnerable


{spade} A Q 6 3 2

{heart} J 4

{diam} Q 8 7

{club} 10 6 4


{spade} K 10 9 8

{heart} 8 6 5

{diam} K 5 4 2

{club} K J


{spade} 7 5

{heart} Q 10 9 7 3

{diam} A 10 9 6

{club} 3 2


{spade} J 4

{heart} A K 2

{diam} J 3

{club} A Q 9 8 7 5

The bidding: EastSouthWestNorthPass1 {club} Pass1 {spade}Pass2 {club} Pass3 {club}Pass3 NT (!) All Pass Opening lead: {diam} 2

Omar Sharif is an actor, horse-racing enthusiast and world-class bridge player -- perhaps not in that order. Sharif recalls his bridge exploits in his book "Omar Sharif Talks Bridge."

Sharif was West in a money game. He led a diamond against 3NT: seven, nine, jack. South next led the jack of spades, Sharif's king covered and dummy's ace won. Declarer then led a club to his queen, and Sharif played the jack!

South saw overtricks. He led a spade to the ace and a club to his nine. Sharif produced the king, and the defense took two spades and three diamonds.

Sharif notes that his play wouldn't have been a success if East had held 9-2 of clubs. He also notes that since his opening lead suggested a four-card suit, South might have played more safely by cashing the ace of clubs at Trick Two.

"Sharif Talks Bridge," full of deals and anecdotes, available from Baron-Barclay, 800- 274-2221 or Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A Q 6 3 2 {heart} J 4 {diam} Q 8 7 {club} 10 6 4.

Dealer, at your left, opens one diamond. Your partner doubles, and the next player passes. What do you say?

Answer: You have nine high-card points and a good five-card suit, ordinarily enough to invite game. But the queen of diamonds may be worth nothing, hence prefer a conservative response of one spade. Turn your queen of diamonds into the queen of clubs and you'd cheerfully jump to two spades.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services