ACES ON BRIDGE

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Pastimes - Dist. by An­drews McMeel for UFS

Dear Mr. Wolff: With this hand: SPADES 3, HEARTSK-10-5-4-2, DIAMONDSA-J-7-2, CLUBS K-Q-3, I opened one heart and heard two spades to­myleft, fol­lowed by a dou­ble from my­part­ner; I then bid three di­a­monds. Now my­part­ner bid three spades. What does that show, and what should I do? — Bum­blepuppy, Ketchikan, Alaska AN­SWER: The three­spade call asks you to bid three no-trump, or it may be the first move in a slam try for di­a­monds. You can’t bid three no-trump, of course, but you can bid four clubs to sug­gest this shape. Dear Mr. Wolff: Please ex­plain tome­what a safety play in bridge con­sists of. I seem to see quite a few dif­fer­ent plays de­scribed by that term. — Taxi Driver, Pitts­burgh, Pa. AN­SWER: There are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent plays lumped un­der the head­ing of “safety play.” The first in­volves pro­tect­ing your­self against an un­kind dis­tri­bu­tion by a cor­rect move. For ex­am­ple, with K-Q- 9-2 fac­ing A-8-7-4, you might start with the king to pick up a bare jack or 10 in ei­ther op­po­nent’s hand. The sec­ond usage is like a gam­bit at chess: sac­ri­fic­ing a trick you may not have had to lose to en­sure you don’t lose two tricks. With K-J-8-7-2 fac­ing A- 94, cash­ing the king and lead­ing to the nine would be an ex­am­ple. Dear Mr. Wolff: You re­cently dis­cussed this hand, where you heard part­ner dou­ble one di­a­mon­dand a one-heart call to your right. With SPADES J-9- 6, HEARTS —, DIAMONDSQ-9- 65-2, CLUBS A-10-8-5-2, you bid two clubs and heard part­ner bid two hearts. Why­did you next bid two no-trump in­stead of three clubs? — Gor­gonzola, Sioux City, Iowa AN­SWER: I’d ex­pect to be fac­ing a 3-5-2-3 18-count or so. I don’t have any rea­son to re­peat my clubs; part­ner knows I have them. Three no-trump could eas­ily be mak­ing, but if my part­ner passes two no-trump, would three clubs be bet­ter? I doubt it.

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