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

Dear Mr. Wolff: How would you han­dle a hand like SPADES J-4, HEARTSK- 6-5-4, DIAMONDSK-Q-4-2, CLUBS 8-7-2, fac­ing a strong no-trump? Would vul­ner­a­bil­ity or the form of scor­ing af­fect your de­ci­sion?

— Gun for Hire,

Or­lando, Fla. AN­SWER: It seems clearly right to start with a Stay­man two-club call, with the in­ten­tion of merely invit­ing game even if you find a heart fit. The honors in the long suits some­what com­pen­sate for your lack of in­ter­me­di­ates. With some heart in­ter­me­di­ates, you might per­suade me to do more. If vul­ner­a­ble at teams, I might bid to four hearts if we found a fit. Dear Mr. Wolff: If the op­po­nents in­ter­vene over our no-trump, what would you rec­om­mendI play to de­scribe my­hand? Is Stolen Bid an ap­proved gad­get?

— Barab­bas, Madi­son, Wis. AN­SWER: Both opener and his part­ner must be able to bid all the suits ef­fi­ciently. (The trans­fer el­e­ment is less vi­tal.) Each player should be able to dou­ble with short­age since that is the hand you are most likely to want to com­pete on. Re­spon­der can play trans­fers and Stay­man over an ar­ti­fi­cial dou­ble or a call of two clubs— with dou­ble act­ing as Stay­man. After higher in­ter­ven­tion, new suits should be nat­u­ral at the two-level and forc­ing at the three-level. The mean­ing of a two-no-trump call as Leben­sohl is dis­cussed at Leben­sohl. Dear Mr. Wolff: My part­ner and I have been ar­gu­ing about whether there is any sort of hand that would pass in first or sec­ond chair and then back into the op­po­nent’s auc­tion­with a pre-empt. Is such a thing pos­si­ble?

— Bet­ter Late Than Never,

Spring­field, Mass. AN­SWER: There must be hands with the shape for a pre-empt but not the right honor lo­ca­tion, where you might pass ini­tially but de­cide to pre-empt later. Sim­i­larly, you may have a hand with too much de­fense or with a sidesuit. When vul­ner­a­ble, youmight also not have a good enough suit to act on ini­tially. When­ever your part­ner bids, though, jumps by a passed hand in a new suit will not be a sin­gle-suited pre-empt but should show fit for your part­ner.

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