The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Pastimes -

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

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