ACES ON BRIDGE

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - PROFILES - BOBBY WOLFF If you would like to con­tact Bobby Wolff, email him at bob­by­wolff@mind­spring.com

DEAR MR. WOLFF: At IMPs, I dealt my­self ♠ A-3-2, ♥ A-5-3, ♦ 8-6-4-3, ♣ A-4-2, a hand with nine losers and no in­ter­me­di­ates. I passed, and the deal was thrown in. At the other ta­ble, the op­po­nents opened and played their 4-4 di­a­mond fit for plus-90. Any com­ments?

— Bet­ter Busi­ness, Mun­cie, Ind.

DEAR READER: One doesn’t grow rich by pass­ing 12 counts, but if I did pass one, it would be be­cause it had too few aces, not too many. In judg­ing whether to open the bid­ding, nam­ing a suit you ac­tu­ally hold is bet­ter than bid­ding a three-card suit. But when you open a weak suit, part­ner of­ten leads the wrong thing. I might even pre­tend I didn’t have four di­a­monds, and open one club. In my opin­ion, pass­ing is more of a view than open­ing, but ♠ K-J-2, ♥ A-4-2, ♦ J-6-4-3, ♣ K-5-4 is a hand I might pass.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: I un­der­stand Jeff Meck­stroth has just been elected to the Hall of Fame. This makes me won­der who might be on your list of can­di­dates who should be con­sid­ered for the hall but have not made it yet.

— Flim-Flam Man, Lake­land, Fla.

DEAR READER: All my Aces con­tem­po­raries who wish to be con­sid­ered are al­ready in there (the one ex­cep­tion pre­fer­ring not to be put for­ward). I feel that women are un­der­rep­re­sented; if what counts is be­ing pre-em­i­nent in your field, then in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der: Lynn Deas, Jill My­ers and Judi Radin all have a place.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: I need help on ac­tions by passed hands. Hold­ing ♠ Q-5, ♥ K-Q-8-5, ♦ 9-6-4-2, ♣ J-3-2, my RHO opened one di­a­mond. I passed, and I heard a one-heart re­sponse to my left. My part­ner over­called one spade, and my RHO dou­bled to show three hearts. Am I strong enough to re­dou­ble, or does that send a spe­cific mes­sage here?

— Ris­soles, Evanston, Ill.

DEAR READER: A re­dou­ble is not con­ven­tional. It sug­gests own­er­ship of the hand (say, 10-plus), typ­i­cally with­out sup­port, and asks part­ner to join in as ap­pro­pri­ate — ei­ther by bid­ding a sec­ond suit or dou­bling the op­po­nents. Change your di­a­mond two to the king, and you might re­dou­ble, though I think I would ac­tu­ally just bid one no-trump. Here, I would pass for the time be­ing.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: You re­cently dis­cussed what a jump to three no-trump in re­sponse to an opener should be played as. I agree it must be nat­u­ral in re­sponse to a mi­nor, but what about play­ing the jump to three no-trump, fac­ing a one-spade open­ing, as an un­spec­i­fied mini-splin­ter? While over one heart, three no-trump is a real splin­ter in spades, and three spades the un­spec­i­fied mini-splin­ter?

— In­spec­tor Gadget, Grand Junction, Colo.

DEAR READER: Thank you! I thought this op­tion might be too com­plex for my read­ers, but since you raised it, I agree that it makes sense to split your splin­ters into reg­u­lar (12-14 or so) and keep­ing one call for the (9-11) mini-splin­ter, let­ting part­ner re­lay to find out where your short­age is if he wants to do so. In­ter­ested read­ers can fol­low up at: bit.ly/2topMk0.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: Please com­ment on how to re­spond to one spade, hold­ing ♠ J-8-2, ♥ A-5-3-2,

♦ Q-5-3, ♣ K-9-4. If you would make a limit raise, would your opin­ion change if the op­po­nents over­called two of a mi­nor?

— Raised Eye­brows, Jack­son, Miss.

DEAR READER: I would never treat this hand as any­thing but a con­struc­tive raise to two spades in an un­con­tested auc­tion, and I’d feel even more strongly about that if the op­po­nents should over­call. For the record, make the club four the di­a­mond 10, to give me a po­ten­tial ruff­ing value, and I might re­con­sider. Give me the spade 10 as well, in­stead of the two, and you’d sell me on the more ag­gres­sive ac­tion.

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