Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


- BOBBY WOLFF If you would like to con­tact Bobby Wolff, email him at bob­by­wolff@mind­ Hollywood · Los Angeles · Minnesota · Monterey County · California · Nassau · Bahamas · Duluth, MN

DEAR MR. WOLFF: With ; A-Q-2, k K-7, l J-9-6, ' K-8-5-4-3, I opened one club and heard a weak jump to two di­a­monds on my left. When my part­ner made a neg­a­tive dou­ble, I was stuck for a call. My in­stincts were to bid two no-trump with­out a stop­per, but I chick­ened out and re­bid my clubs, which left us in an in­fe­rior partscore. Would you con­tem­plate a bid of two spades on the three-card suit?

— Tied Up in Tin­sel­town, Los An­ge­les

DEAR READER: In­tro­duc­ing the three-card spade suit looks like a rea­son­able shot (after all, you may need to ruff spades in your hand). Your first thought of bid­ding no-trump here was not a ter­ri­ble idea, but I’m just too cowardly to want to ex­plain this to my part­ner if I’m wrong. I hate re­bid­ding clubs with such a poor suit. DEAR MR. WOLFF:

Would you be kind enough to clar­ify the mean­ing of the last call on the fol­low­ing un­op­posed se­quence? When I open one spade and re­bid two hearts over my part­ner’s two-club call, he re­bids two no-trump. Now on my third turn, if I bid three di­a­monds, what would you ex­pect that to show?

— The Sign of the Four,

Du­luth, Minn. DEAR READER: When part­ner has al­ready bid notrump and the auc­tion is be­low three no-trump, the pri­mary mean­ing for a call in the fourth suit here is to sug­gest length, not short­age. You sug­gest a 5-4-3-1 pat­tern with some in­ter­est in play­ing in a con­tract other than three no-trump, thus prob­a­bly ex­tra val­ues. But if your part­ner had re­bid three clubs, three di­a­monds would be the fourth suit, so ini­tially a probe for no-trump, with maybe a half-stop­per.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: I just had a not-so-friendly dis­cus­sion with the tour­na­ment di­rec­tor at my lo­cal club. As dummy, I ob­served my RHO re­voke on the sec­ond round of clubs. When he fol­lowed to the third club, I pointed this out to my part­ner and was told in no un­cer­tain terms that this was in­ap­pro­pri­ate. Can you ex­plain the cor­rect eti­quette for dummy?

— Punc­til­ious Pe­tra, Saint John’s, New­found­land DEAR READER: I’ve been caught out here, too. There are two con­trast­ing in­struc­tions: Say noth­ing as dummy un­til an ir­reg­u­lar­ity has been con­firmed or the end of the hand is reached. How­ever, if an ir­reg­u­lar­ity has been es­tab­lished and the di­rec­tor is not called, dummy should rec­tify that omis­sion at once.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: I held ; 3, k A-J-9-4, l A-K-10-8-2, ' Q-9-4. When I opened one di­a­mond, I heard my part­ner re­spond two clubs, game-forc­ing. Do you agree with my choice of two hearts? Next, I heard my part­ner jump to three notrump. Can you tell me what my part­ner showed and what I should do next?

— Bonus Baby, Mon­terey, Calif. DEAR READER: Yes, your two-heart call (sug­gest­ing this red-suit pat­tern) looks right to me. Some might play your part­ner’s jump to game as Fast Ar­rival. Not me. I be­lieve it shows ex­tras, with two no-trump sug­gest­ing less or more than a strong no-trump. That makes the de­ci­sion to move on now with a nat­u­ral slam try of four clubs a straight­for­ward one. You can al­ways stop in four no-trump.

DEAR MR. WOLFF: Our two-club open­ing is forc­ing to game or four of a mi­nor, ex­cept when opener’s re­bid is a pass­able call of two no-trump. Re­cently, as re­spon­der, I held some­thing like ; 2, k 9-6-4, l J-5-3, ' K-J-10-7-4-3. Rightly or wrongly, I judged it not quite enough for a con­struc­tive three-club re­sponse, so I bid two di­a­monds. Play­ing the cheaper mi­nor as a “sec­ond neg­a­tive,” is there any way I can un­am­bigu­ously show the six-card club suit on my next turn? — Mi­nor Mi­nus, Nas­sau, Ba­hamas DEAR READER: If you don’t play two di­a­monds as a positive and a di­rect two hearts as a sec­ond neg­a­tive, then an­other pos­si­bil­ity is to co-opt a di­rect two-notrump bid to show this hand. In other words, it de­scribes semi-positive val­ues with long clubs, since that hand is so awk­ward to de­scribe in any other way. I agree that a di­rect three-club call should be a better hand and suit than this.

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