ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: In fourth seat, would you open at rubber bridge, Chicago scoring, at favorable vulnerability with: SPADES A-Q-3-2, HEARTS Q-53, DIAMONDS 10-5, CLUBS K-9-4-2. If so, with what call?
— Tubby the Tuba,
Horn Lake, Miss. ANSWER: For the benefit of my readers who are unfamiliar with Chicago scoring, you play four deals with the same partner; one hand at each of the four vulnerabilities. To take advantage of the opponents’ vulnerability, you should make sure to bid here. I suggest you open one spade to keep the opponents out.
Dear Mr. Wolff: Recently I held SPADES A-8, HEARTS K-J-7-6, DIAMONDS K-Q-J-64-3, CLUBS 8. I opened one diamond and heard my left-hand opponent bid one spade. My partner doubled, and the next hand bid four spades. What would you advocate, and why?
— Humble Pie, San Antonio, Texas ANSWER: Double would be extras and not specifically takeout. Your partner would remove only with real extra shape, but here it is you with the shape. Accordingly, I would bid four no-trump, intending it to be diamonds and a second suit. If your partner bids five clubs, you can correct to five diamonds to show the red suits and a hand like this one.
Dear Mr. Wolff: Yesterday afternoon, after passing in first chair with: SPADES Q-J, HEARTS Q-96-5-4, DIAMONDS J-9-3, CLUBS A-10-3, I heard my partner open two no-trump. Is this hand worth a slam try, or would you simply sign off in game (and where)?
— Lumpfish, Huntington, W.Va. ANSWER: All your soft values suggest that you might not want to find hearts even if you have a 5-3 fit. I wouldn’t want to try for slam unless I found four hearts opposite, so I would use Stayman rather than transferring. My plan is to opt for three no-trump unless partner shows hearts. If he does, I will bid three spades, an artificial call to set hearts as trump and show at least a little slam interest.