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ON BRIDGE

At the World Team Championships in Tunisia last October, France won the Bermuda Bowl in the Open event while the United States captured the women's Venice Cup.

The 12 days produced many gems. Playing against Italy, Tor Helness of Norway drew an inference to land today's contract. East took the A-K of clubs and led the jack. Helness ruffed with the 10, and West threw a spade.

Helness next cashed the top diamonds, ruffed a diamond and returned a trump from dummy. East won and, with nothing better to do, led another diamond. This time West ruffed with the queen of trumps and exited with a trump.

Helness had to avoid a spade loser. He knew East had begun with six clubs, five diamonds and one heart; hence one spade. West had played the queen of hearts and the jack of diamonds. With the king of spades, he'd have had enough to respond to East's opening bid.

Acting on the inference, Helness led a spade to the ace. When the king fell, he claimed the rest.

You hold: A Q 10 4 J 7 6 2 7 3 10 6 2. Your partner opens one no trump, and the next player passes. What do you say?

A: To use the Stayman Convention is tempting; if partner has four cards in a major suit, you'll find a safe place to play. But if instead he bids two diamonds, denying a major, you can't pass, and a bid of two no trump will invite him to bid three no trump with maximum values. Since you lack the values to invite, you must pass.

North dealer

Both sides vulnerable
NORTH
A Q 10 4
J 7 6 2
7 3
10 6 2
WEST
9 8 7 3 2
Q 8 4
J 9 5
8 3
EAST
K
A
Q 10 8 4 2
A K J 9 7 5
SOUTH
J 6 5
K 10 9 5 3
A K 6
Q 4
North East South West
Pass 1 1 Pass
2 3 Pass Pass
3 All Pass
Opening lead -- 8

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