ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: Hold­ing SPADES J-7-6-5-4-2, HEARTS 4, DI­A­MONDS A-K-5, CLUBS Q-7-6, how should you bid when you hear part­ner open one heart, and then over your ones­pade re­sponse, he bids two clubs?

— Torn Up, Bos­ton, Mass. AN­SWER: This hand is al­most worth a call of two no-trump in high-card terms. Your spades ar­gue against jump­ing or re­bid­ding that suit, and your clubs aren’t strong enough to raise, but you might make a lot of tricks in clubs, spades or no-trump, so pass­ing feels wrong. A call of two spades is ac­cept­able; I might stretch to re­bid two no-trump, to let part­ner bid game with ex­tras, and hope to set­tle for a playable part-score. Dear Mr. Wolff: Do you have any ad­vice for in­ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers like me who tend to get dis­cour­aged when things start to go wrong? Or for my part­ners, who oc­ca­sion­ally re­play their fail­ures in their head, to their detri­ment on the fol­low­ing deal?

— High Kicker, Greenville, S.C. AN­SWER: The best ad­vice I can give you is that it is next to im­pos­si­ble to pick up a big swing on one deal to re­cover from a dis­as­ter on the last: The sit­u­a­tion will likely get worse if you try. Many play­ers tend to lose con­cen­tra­tion on the first and last deals of a ses­sion — the first be­cause they are not set­tled in, and the last be­cause they want to get out and score up. So one should try to con­cen­trate on those deals.

Dear Mr. Wolff: When my right-hand op­po­nent opened the bid­ding with four di­a­monds, I had a 4=4=1=4 12-count, so I dou­bled for take­out. My part­ner thought this was too ag­gres­sive, so I’d wel­come your thoughts. The next hand re­dou­bled, and when it came back to me, I ran to four hearts. We ended in five clubs, down 800, but was I wrong to run, or should I have passed with four di­a­monds hing­ing on a fi­nesse?

— Sad Sack, Mitchell, S.D. AN­SWER: There is no ques­tion that your dou­ble of four di­a­monds is geared for take­out: Your call may be ag­gres­sive, but it sounds rea­son­able to me. My part­ner­ship plays that all passes of re­dou­bles ex­cept at the one-level (and not all of them) are to play, so I would have passed here, like it or not.

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