Both sides vulnerable

NORTH (D)

{spade} A K J

{heart} K J 3 2

{diam} Q 7 5 3

{club} A 10

WEST

{spade} 7 5 3

{heart} A 9 7 4

{diam} K J 2

{club} 9 8 7

EAST

{spade} 6 2

{heart} Q 10 8

{diam} A 10 8 6

{club} J 6 4 2

SOUTH

{spade} Q 10 9 8 4

{heart} 6 5

{diam} 9 4

{club} K Q 5 3

The bidding: NorthEastSouthWest1 {diam} Pass1 {spade} Pass2 NT Pass3 {club} Pass3 {spade} Pass4 {spade}All Pass Opening lead: {club} 9

Like most mothers, mine was a woman of logic. When I'd want to know why I couldn't stay out late or miss church, the logic of her reply would be irrefutable: "Because I said so, that's why."

In today's deal, South took the A-K of clubs, ruffed a club with dummy's ace of trumps, drew trumps and cashed the queen of clubs. South then led a heart, and West did well to play low smoothly. When South played the jack from dummy, the defense took two hearts and two diamonds to beat the contract.

"I had nothing to go on in hearts," South said with a shrug, "except that West might have grabbed the ace if he'd had it."

Did South have a logical reason to find the winning play?

South had a guess but might have gone right. Since North-South had bid every other suit, West would often lead a heart against four spades. But most Wests would be more apt to lead a heart from the queen than to lay down the ace.

If South credits West with a logical lead, he'll play the king of hearts.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A K J {heart} K J 3 2 {diam} Q 7 5 3 {club} A 10.

Dealer, at your right, opens one club. You double, and your partner bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

Answer: Since you have extra strength, you must act again: Partner may have eight points, and game is possible. To raise the spades with three trumps is unwise, hence try 1NT. Since you already promised help for the unbid suits, partner won't pass when a better contract exists.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services