ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: Holding SPADES J 2, HEARTS 9 2, DIAMONDSQ 53 2, CLUBSA Q J 3 2, I assume you would pass in irst chair. Whenyou hear aweak two-heart call on your left, passed back to you, would you reopen, and if so, with what call?
— F Troop, Great Falls, Mont.
ANSWER: Your spade holding is exceedingly unsuitable for a balancing double even though it’s a maximum for your initial pass. As a passed hand, you could bid three clubs, but I’d prefer a bid of two no-trump to show the minors rather than showing a balanced hand.
Dear Mr. Wolff: Ahand in a recent column confused me, though it did not affect the inal outcome. After South opened one diamond and West overcalled one heart, why didn’t North make a negative double to best describe a hand with ive spades and scattered values?
— Skinny Marie, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Dear Mr. Wolff: When looking for slam and asking for aces, I’ve seen it stated that if no-trump has already been bid, then to avoid confusion one can use the Gerber convention. Howexactly should this work, and when, if ever, do you advise playing Gerber?
— Blackwoodsman, Olympia, Wash.
ANSWER: I’m happy with the idea that a jump to four clubs over a rebid of one or two no-trump should be played as Gerber, but only if clubs have not been bid. A call of four no-trump would then be quantitative and invitational. In such auctions, though, when clubs have been bid naturally, it is less easy to say whether delayed club jumps are Gerber or natural.
Dist. by Andrews McMeel for UFS