ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: I was re­cently con­fronted with an auction where I had to check the backs of the cards. I heard one spade to my left, a oneno-trump call from my part­ner and a dou­ble to my right. I held SPADES A-Q-3, HEARTS 10-5-32, DIAMONDS A-Q-7-4, CLUBS Q-3. What could be go­ing on, and how does the bid­ding add up? — Prince of Den­mark,

Bay City, Mich.

AN­SWER: Re­dou­ble, as­sum­ing that to be strong, and you will dis­cover whether it’s your part­ner or your left-hand op­po­nent who’s hav­ing a lit­tle fun. I’d guess that if your side is non­vul­ner­a­ble, your part­ner may be ex­per­i­ment­ing, but if the op­po­nents are non­vul­ner­a­ble, the open­ing bid­der may crack and re­move him­self.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I passed in first seat at match­point pairs, hold­ing SPADES J-74-3, HEARTS A-J-5-4, DIAMONDS Q-8-3, CLUBS K-4 and heard my LHO open one no-trump, which was passed around to me. We play Cap­pel­letti, where a dou­ble by a passed hand would be a max­i­mum pass. Would you do that, or bal­ance with two diamonds to show the ma­jors, or just let them play one notrump? — On the Brink,

Port­land, Ore.

AN­SWER: You left out the crit­i­cal piece of in­for­ma­tion, namely the vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Think of vul­ner­a­bil­ity as a traf­fic sig­nal. With nei­ther side vul­ner­a­ble, the light is green; with both sides vul­ner­a­ble, it is red; and with equal vul­ner­a­bil­ity, the light is yel­low. I would act at green, pass at red, and bid at yel­low with 4-4 only if this hand had the king in spades rather than clubs. With 5-4 shape, I’d prob­a­bly act at any vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I en­joy your col­umn and won­dered where you get the quotes that pre­cede the hand? Do you re­search them your­self or have a se­cret source?

— Whirly Bird, Charleston, S.C. AN­SWER: For the quotes, Bartlett’s, The Ox­ford Dic­tionary of Quo­ta­tions and wik­iquote.org are fer­tile sources. My edi­tor warns me when my choice is in­ap­pro­pri­ate or mis­at­tributed. When I can find some­thing that makes me think, or smile, I’m happy.

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