ACES ON BRIDGE

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

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.

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