N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} J 9 5 3

{heart} A 10 8 2

{diam} K J 5

{club} 9 3

WEST

{spade} Q 8 7 4

{heart} 3

{diam} 6 4 2

{club} J 10 8 7 4

EAST

{spade} A K 10 6 2

{heart} 9 7 5 4

{diam} 10 9 8 3

{club} None

SOUTH (D)

{spade} None

{heart} K Q J 6

{diam} A Q 7

{club} A K Q 6 5 2

The bidding:SouthWestNorthEast 2 {club} Pass2 {spade} Dbl3 {club} 3 {spade}Pass4 {club}Pass4 {spade} PassPass5 NT Pass6 {club} All Pass Opening lead: {spade} 4

Today's deal appeared on OKbridge, the outstanding Internet site that lets you watch and play against people worldwide.

At the table I watched, North's response of two spades artificially showed an ace and a king. After that, North-South passed up a couple of chances to bid hearts, missing their best strain. South went down at six clubs when trumps broke 5-0.

Seven hearts looks like a good spot until you see the East-West cards, and it always failed. How did some North-Souths find their heart fit? Some Souths opened one club, and North bid one heart.

Many Souths at six hearts went down, but that slam is always makable. If West led a spade, South ruffed and took the K-Q of hearts. Then all South had to do was lead a diamond to the jack, ruff a spade, lead the queen of diamonds to the king, draw trumps and claim six trump tricks, three diamonds and three clubs. But South drew trumps, relying on a friendly club break.

For information, go to www.okbridge.com.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} J 9 5 3 {heart} A 10 8 2 {diam} K J 5 {club} 9 3.

Your partner opens one diamond, you respond one heart, he bids two clubs and you return to two diamonds. Partner next bids three clubs. What do you say?

Answer: Your bid of two diamonds showed at most nine points. Nevertheless, partner bid again and is interested in game. Since your values are maximum, you can accept, but since partner's hand may be short in spades, 3NT may fail. Bid five diamonds.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services