ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: My part­ner held SPADES 9 8 7 5, HEARTS A Q10 8 7, DI­A­MONDS K , CLUBSQ 7, and opened one heart. In re­sponse, hold­ing 12 points with three hearts and four very small clubs, I had avail­able one no-trump as semi­forc­ing, with new suits at the two-level be­ing game-forc­ing. What is the right way to show my hand, and how should our bid­ding go? — Enough Said, St. John’s, New­found­land

AN­SWER: If you de­cide you don’t have a game force, you might re­spond one no-trump, which your part­ner may de­cide to pass. That means you might stay out of game, but fac­ing some­thing like ace-third of spades, king-third of hearts, and ace-jack third of di­a­monds with the afore­men­tioned four-small clubs, you do have four top losers in four hearts, even if three no-trump is quite playable. Driv­ing your hand to game with a call of two clubs is cer­tainly rea­son­able if play­ing sound openers— few do, though.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Please ex­plain the dif­fer­ence be­tween the min­i­mum num­ber of cards promised by opener re­bid­ding his suit (be it ama­jor or mi­nor) over a one- or two-level re­sponse by re­spon­der, and the num­ber of cards promised by re­spon­der for re­bid­ding his suit? — Pis­tol Pete, Kenosha, Wis.

AN­SWER: Re­spon­der’s re­bid of his own suit shows six, ex­cept that oc­ca­sion­ally he will re­bid a very chunky ive-card suit— typ­i­cally over a one-no-trump re­sponse from his part­ner. Sim­i­larly, opener’s suit re­bid fac­ing a one-level re­sponse prom­ises six— though oc­ca­sion­ally the re­bid of aminor fac­ing a one-spade re­sponse may be forced with ive when un­suit­able for a re­verse or one-no-trump re­sponse. By con­trast, opener’s re­bid fac­ing a two-level re­sponse is of­ten a de­cent ive­carder.

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