ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: In sec­ond seat, I picked up SPADES 5-2, HEARTS A-K-7-6-43, DI­A­MONDS A-3, CLUBS J-8-3 and opened one heart. When my part­ner jumped to four clubs, show­ing a sin­gle­ton club and game val­ues, did I have enough to cue-bid four di­a­monds, or should I have signed off in four hearts? — Rais­ing the Roof, Colum­bus, Ohio

AN­SWER: With real ex­tras, you would nor­mally cue-bid four di­a­monds. If you bid four hearts, the auc­tion will be over, of course. In this auc­tion, the four-di­a­mond call might lead part­ner to do too much if he has the spade ace but a min­i­mum; how­ever, I think the com­bi­na­tion of your sixth trump and third-round con­trols in both di­a­monds and spades re­quire you to do it.

Dear Mr. Wolff: A re­cent deal of yours saw an opener act with SPADES K-J-4, HEARTS K-J-3-2, DI­A­MONDS Q-3-2, CLUBS Q-9-3, but I count only 12 high­card points and seven losers, with no quick tricks and no five-card suit. Is this re­ally an ad­vis­able open­ing bid? — Back in the Sad­dle, Albuquerqu­e, N.M.

AN­SWER: I agree this isn’t a great open­ing bid! Non-vul­ner­a­ble at match­points, there may be more to be gained by bid­ding than pass­ing, but should you open? I’m not sure. If play­ing a 15-17 no-trump, where a no-trump re­bid shows 12-14, you aren’t far off base. But you could sell me on pass­ing if your other op­tion is to open a suit you don’t want part­ner to lead or raise!

Dear Mr. Wolff: What would be the best use for trans­fer­ring into a ma­jor, then bid­ding a mi­nor? Do the same rules ap­ply af­ter a twono-trump as af­ter a oneno-trump opener?

— Down Un­der, Syd­ney, Aus­tralia AN­SWER: These un­op­posed trans­fer auc­tions show a sec­ond suit, are game forc­ing and im­ply doubt about strain or level. That means you ei­ther have slam in­ter­est or are wor­ried no-trump might not be right. So with­out any slam in­ter­est — say 9-13 high-card points — and with a 5-4 pat­tern, you might ig­nore the mi­nor over a one-notrump opener, un­less you have a small side-suit sin­gle­ton.

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