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ON BRIDGE

Today's South was going through his overbidding phase, which in most of us lasts only about 50 years. After East's bid of one diamond, South figured North had useful values in the other suits; and when North jumped aggressively to four hearts, South roared into slam.

South won the second diamond with the king, led a spade to dummy and let the jack of trumps ride. A trump to the queen won, and South next took the king of spades and ruffed a spade. East overruffed; down one.

"No way," South shrugged. "I needed a 2-2 trump break."

Can you make the slam?

After the queen of trumps wins, South cashes the ace. West can spare a diamond and a spade. South then leads a club to the ace and ruffs dummy's last diamond.

If West throws a second spade, South takes the king of spades and ruffs a spade in dummy, setting up his last spade; if instead West throws a club, South takes the king of clubs and ruffs a club, setting up dummy's last club for the 12th trick.

You hold: J 5 K 7 3 A Q J 9 2 Q 8 7. Your partner opens one spade, you bid two diamonds and he raises to three diamonds. The opponents pass. What do you say?

A: A reraise to four diamonds or a preference to three spades are possible, but "Hamman's Rule" (named for the world champion player) applies: If several bids are possible and 3NT is one of them, that's the bid. Partner can overrule if his hand is highly distributional.

North dealer

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

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