ACES ON BRIDGE

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - By Bobby Wolff Dist. by An­drews McMeel for UFS

Dear Mr. Wolff: I’m a long­time party bridge player (Chicago scor­ing), and I’m beginning to play du­pli­cate, but I’m strug­gling. I know there are some dif­fer­ences in the two philoso­phies, for ex­am­ple, in sac­ri­fic­ing at du­pli­cate. Can you rec­om­mend a book to help me to get — Heart­less Hal,

Dal­las, Texas AN­SWER: I like “The Com­plete Book of Du­pli­cate Bridge” by Kay, Silodor and Karpin, and “Du­pli­cate Bridge: How to Play, How to Win” by Edgar Ka­plan. Any­thing by Mike Lawrence or Reese, Kelsey and Kan­tar is worth read­ing. For mod­ern tech­niques, Larry Co­hen has writ­ten about the Law of To­tal Tricks. Dear Mr. Wolff: If de­clarer has re­voked in a dou­bled vul­ner­a­ble con­tract and is set one trick, which be­comes two af­ter the penalty, how much will that cost him? Are both un­der­tricks cal­cu­lated based on the dou­ble? If the dou­bled con­tract had been made, how would the re­voke trick penalty be han­dled?

— Score Keeper, Wal­nut Creek, Calif. AN­SWER: Re­vokes are tricky things, but you did not ask me that ques­tion, so I won’t an­swer it! First of all, cal­cu­late the re­sult of the con­tract in terms of mak­ing or go­ing down, af­ter the re­voke penalty. Then look at the score. The an­swer here is down one, plus a re­voke penalty to make it down two; that is 500, and the num­ber goes above the line — hope­fully on your side. Dear Mr. Wolff: I re­cently opened one heart, and when my part­ner re­sponded two clubs, I opted not to make a splin­ter-raise of my part­ner’s suit with a min­i­mum hand and a sin­gle­ton ace in a sidesuit. One should not nor­mally make such a call when the suit is a sin­gle­ton top honor. Is that ap­proach cor­rect?

— Leapy Lee, Port­land, Maine AN­SWER: I’m not averse to splin­ter­ing with such hold­ings, but only if the hand con­tains full value for my ac­tion. A sim­ple rule is to down-value the hand by two points, and if the hand is still worth a splin­ter, make it. This ap­plies es­pe­cially in auc­tions that are not game-forc­ing, when re­spon­der has bid at the one-level.

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