ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: When a deal is passed out on the first round of a du­pli­cate, are we al­lowed to re-deal the hand with­out ask­ing the director for permission?

— Thrown for a Loop,

Naples, Fla. ANSWER: While the pay­ing cus­tomer has one fewer deal to play be­cause of the throw-in, that would be miss­ing the point. Say I or my part­ner had passed a hand others might open. Should we not get the good or bad re­sult from that de­ci­sion? Also, you can be con­fi­dent that on most pass-outs, some­one, some­where, will find a rea­son to bid, no mat­ter how flimsy the pre­text.

Dear Mr. Wolff: If a de­fender shows his card, when may he be ex­cused from play­ing that card, as­sum­ing it has not ac­tu­ally been put on the ta­ble? I thought I was al­lowed to change my mind here.

— Faulty Tow­ers, Wilm­ing­ton, N.C. ANSWER: There are dif­fer­ent rules for de­clarer and the de­fend­ers. For de­clarer, a card has to be played — or the equiv­a­lent of played — rather than ac­ci­den­tally dropped. (De­clarer doesn’t have a part­ner who might ben­e­fit from unau­tho­rized informatio­n.) For the de­fend­ers, a card is played if it is ac­tu­ally or potentiall­y in view. Thus, a partly or wholly vis­i­ble card is nor­mally treated as played.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I picked up SPADES 9-4, HEARTS 7-4-2, DI­A­MONDS A-Q-75-3, CLUBS K-3-2 and heard one club from my part­ner, then one spade on my right. Is this hand suit­able for a neg­a­tive dou­ble? I thought not, so I passed, and now a raise to two spades was passed back to me. What would be ap­pro­pri­ate now?

— Lurk­ing War­beck,

Dodge City, Kan. ANSWER: You were right not to dou­ble or bid two di­a­monds, though you might take the lat­ter ac­tion as a passed hand. Here, I’d bid two no-trump at my sec­ond turn if I trusted my part­ner to be fully present. A call of two no-trump is log­i­cally take­out for the mi­nors, not nat­u­ral. It de­nies four clubs, since I would al­ready have raised if I had that hand. Some­thing like this hand would there­fore be per­fect for the call.

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