Chicago Sun-Times - - WEATHER - BY FRANK STE­WART

To start the week, try an open­ing-lead prob­lem. Look at the West cards and auc­tion. Pick a lead against four hearts. First, an­a­lyze the auc­tion. De­cide on a plan of de­fense.

North’s 2NT showed a good bal­anced hand with a spade stop­per; South has long hearts and a shapely hand.

Say you lead your deuce of spades: five, queen, eight. East ex­its with a club, and South forces out your ace of trumps. He ruffs your spade re­turn, draws trumps and loses a di­a­mond fi­nesse. He still has a trump left and can claim the rest.

Con­trol: Since West has four trumps, a “forc­ing game” may work: mak­ing de­clarer ruff so that he runs out of trumps and loses con­trol. Since the bid­ding marks South with spade short­ness, West’s open­ing lead should be the jack of spades.

Then the de­fense can force South to ruff a spade at Trick Two. When West takes the sec­ond trump, he forces again. South must spend all his trumps to draw trumps, and when East takes the king of di­a­monds, he has a spade to cash.

Daily ques­tion

You hold: ♠ K75 ♥ 95 ♦ AQ1062 ♣ K Q 10. Your part­ner opens one club, you re­spond one di­a­mond and he re­bids two clubs. What do you say?

An­swer: Slam is pos­si­ble — your part­ner could hold 2, A 6 4, K 9 3,

A J 9 6 5 2 — and a forc­ing jump to four clubs might ini­ti­ate a cue-bid­ding se­quence to slam. An op­tion is a tem­po­riz­ing bid of two spades. If he has a hand such as A2, KJ7, 87, AJ9652, you would pre­fer to stop at 3NT. North dealer

Both sides vul­ner­a­ble

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