ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: I know you aren’t the biggest fan of Key-card Blackwood, but if you ask for key-cards, then for the trump queen, what responses should you use to that second ask? — Private Eye, San Luis Obispo, Calif. ANSWER: Use a signoff in the trump suit as denying the trump queen. Other calls show it, and you cue-bid a side-suit king if you can, or jump in the trump suit if you cannot. Additionally, one can agree that when you have the trump queen and two side kings, you cue-bid the king you don’t have.
Dear Mr. Wolff: I opened one diamond with this hand: SPADES A Q 3, HEARTS10 5 3- 2, DIAMONDSA Q 7 4, CLUBSQ 3. I raised the one-spade response to two (do you agree?), and then heardmypartner bid three clubs. What should I have done next? — Bell, Book and Candle, Sitka, Alaska ANSWER: Yes, I would raise to two spades, though many would prefer a one-no-trump rebid. At your third turn, you do have a maximum, but it is not clear where you belong. A temporizing call of three hearts may get you to three no-trump, if that is appropriate. If your partner bids three spades, you will have to decide whether to advance, and if so, how. I think a delayed three-no-trump call would be reasonable.
Dear Mr. Wolff: I picked up SPADESA 10 2, HEARTSK 10 9 5, DIAMONDSJ 9 7 4 3,
CLUBSKand passed in irst seat. Whenmy partner opened one club and the next hand overcalled one spade, I could make a negative double. But what is the right way to continue overmy partner’s rebid of two hearts? — Mashed Potatoes, Eau Claire, Wis. ANSWER: This is an auction where your partner will almost always deliver four hearts but be in the
12 14 range. So you are likely to have an eightcard it with no values to spare for game. Does that mean you should pass— given that you do have an absolute maximum in high cards? I’m not sure. With your partner in third seat, you are on the cusp for a three-heart call. I think I’d pass, but if that singleton king were in a long suit, I’d bid.