ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: I’m considering taking up inverted minors. The textbooks present different approaches; would you recommend they be played as constructive, forcing for one round or forcing to game?
— Weird Science, Sioux Falls, S.D.
ANSWER: Inverted minors apply only in noncompetitive auctions, but they are in play for either passed or unpassed hands. They are forcing for one round if made by an unpassed hand. I suggest that if either opener or responder limits their hand with a rebid of two no-trump or three of the agreed minor at their next turn, that can be passed; otherwise, the partnership is in a game-forcing auction. Dear Mr. Wolff: A recent deal included an opponent making a Michaels cue-bid, allowing the opponents to find the right line to make a grand slam. What are your thoughts regarding the proper kind of hand for the cuebid? I wonder whether a hand with K-J-10 in the red suits is enough to bid two spades over one spade. The opponents have the boss suit, so your hearts and diamonds will probably be outbid in any case.
— Junebug, Midland, Mich. ANSWER: I do not mind acting when nonvulnerable with skimpy suits, as long as you have offense, not defense. Vulnerable, you need chunky suits, and what you most want to avoid is getting on offense when you should be defending. But I suspect I would have bid here, too! Dear Mr. Wolff: Last week when we went to the wrong table, we started playing a board before the error was corrected. When we began it at a new table, we got a top — but the director said that because the opening bid was different by our opponents, the result would be canceled. Was this legally correct?
— Chain of Fools, Richmond, Va.
ANSWER: While the director will try to let a partially played deal be tackled by the proper pairs, here it sounds like your second opponents might not have had a fair crack at the board. That is because you knew extra information from the two opening bids you heard, so it is at the director’s discretion as to whether the result should stand.