The Island Packet (Sunday) - - Puzzles - By Bobby Wolff Dist. by An­drews McMeel for UFS

Dear Mr. Wolff: As­sume you are dealt SPADES J 4, HEARTSK 5, DIAMONDSA 7 5 42, CLUBS A J 4 2, and you open one di­a­mond. Wheny­our part­ner re­sponds one heart and the next hand over­calls one spade, I as­sume you would bid two clubs. What should you do when your part­ner probes with two spades? — Choice of Weevils,

Bal­ti­more, Md. AN­SWER: The de­ci­sion is eas­ier if you have al­ready de­nied three hearts by your fail­ure to make a sup­port dou­ble. Then you can bid three hearts to show a de­cent dou­ble­ton. You might be forced to do that even if your part­ner might read you for three trumps (which he prob­a­bly should not, since you might then have raised hearts at your sec­ond turn).

Dear Mr. Wolff: I picked up SPADES Q 4 2, HEARTSK 7, DIAMONDSA 10

8 6 5 3, CLUBS J 3, and whenmy part­ner passed and­myright­hand op­po­nent opened one spade, I passed rather than over­call­ing two di­a­monds. Was that rea­son­able? Ifmyleft­hand op­po­nent raises to two spades, should I bal­ance with three di­a­monds now?

— Come­back Char­lie,

Sacra­mento, Calif. AN­SWER: Your weak spade length ar­gues for pass­ing at your irst turn, espe­cially fac­ing a passed part­ner. Once your op­po­nents have lim­ited their hands, you can in­fer spade short­ness in your part­ner’s hand. So, bal­anc­ing with three di­a­monds seems per­fectly rea­son­able.

Dear Mr. Wolff: We­play fourth suit as game­forc­ing, but what would you rec­om­mend for the mean­ing of one spade af­ter our side bids un­op­posed: one club - one di­a­mond - one heart? Should it be a one-round force or game-forc­ing, and does it prom­ise or deny spade length?

— Sally Fourth, Ok­la­homa City, Okla. AN­SWER: There is no clear way to play here. but

the sim­plest is to play one spade as nat­u­ral— con­sis­tent with, but not promis­ing four. Your part­ner will sup­port with four trumps. Re­spon­der’s jump to two spades shows di­a­monds and spades 5 6, strong. An­other com­mon agree­ment is to play that one of those calls shows four spades, and one de­nies four. And a third op­tion is to play one spade as nat­u­ral but not a game force.

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