N-S vulnerable

NORTH

{spade} A J 4

{heart} 3

{diam} 10 8 5 2

{club} K Q 7 4 2

WEST

{spade} 7

{heart} Q 9 7 4 2

{diam} J 4

{club} J 10 9 8 5

EAST

{spade} Q 9 8 6 5 3

{heart} K J 10

{diam} 9 7 6

{club} A

SOUTH (D)

{spade} K 10 2

{heart} A 8 6 5

{diam} A K Q 3

{club} 6 3

The bidding: SouthWestNorthEast1 NT Pass3 {club} Pass3 NT All Pass Opening lead: {club} J

People sometimes get a lot of information but don't get the message. Today's declarer got neither.

South covered West's jack of clubs with the queen, and East took the ace and led the jack and then the king of hearts. South played low. When East persisted with the ten, South took the ace and cashed four diamonds. West threw a club and a heart, East a spade.

South next tried to guess the queen of spades for his ninth trick, but when he led the king and a low spade, West discarded, and South had to go down.

The information South needed to guess the spades was available if he cared to dig for it. South must refuse the third heart as well as the first two. If East shifts to a diamond, South cashes four diamonds, the ace of hearts and the king of clubs.

South then has the information: West had five hearts, five clubs and two diamonds, so one spade. The message contained therein: South can lead a spade to the ace and confidently return a spade to his ten.

Daily Question

You hold:

{spade} A J 4 {heart} 3 {diam} 10 8 5 2 {club} K Q 7 4 2.

Your partner opens one heart, your respond two clubs, he rebids two hearts and you try 2NT. Partner then bids three diamonds. What do you say?

Answer: Partner's auction suggests six hearts, four diamonds and minimum values. If he had five cards in each red suit, his second bid would have been two diamonds. With extra strength, he'd have jumped to three hearts or bid two diamonds. Pass. Game is remote.

(c)2005, Tribune Media Services