ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: Recently, you offered up as opener this hand: SPADESQ J6 2, HEARTS5 2, DIAMONDSA Q 10 87 4, CLUBS 6. You indicated that these spades were too good for a diamond preempt; but if you won’t preempt, what will you do? — Edison Lighthouse, Miami, Fla.
ANSWER: I would pass and assume someone would open, then I would hope to ind spades or settle in diamonds. I would not open one diamond, however; this hand just isn’t worth that action. Make the spade queen the 10, and I’d be much more tempted to preempt.
Dear Mr. Wolff: At a recent nationals, I played in a regional pairs game and held SPADES K 3, HEARTS A, DIAMONDSK J 2, CLUBS K Q 9 7 4 3 2. I opened one club and heard two diamonds on the left, two spades from mypartner. What would you do next, assuming a rebid of three clubs is not forcing? — Explorer’s Club, Newark, N.J.
ANSWER: You cannot afford to jump to four clubs by passing three no-trump, but bidding no-trump yourself may be premature. All that seems to leave is a cue-bid, but a delayed three no-trump call over a heart bid from your partner might be the best you can do.
Dear Mr. Wolff: Some of the bridge books I have read, and even some of the players in myrubber game, set 13 HCPas the minimum for an opening. Twelve HCPare acceptable only with signi icant extra shape. Doyou believe all 12-point hands qualify for an opening bid? — Dangerous Dan, St. John’s, Newfoundland
ANSWER: A 12-count with a ive-card suit or two four-card suits will normally qualify as an opening. It is logical for the minimum rebid in no-trump to show 12 14 in the context of your one no-trump opening promising 15 17. If you still play a 16 18 no-trump, you might play your rebid to be 13 15. But since bidding is fun, I suggest you live a little.