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

Dear Mr. Wolff: Up to what level are dou­bles by opener at his sec­ond turn con­sid­ered take­out as op­posed to penalty? Say I open one di­a­mond and hear one heart on my left and a neg­a­tive dou­ble from my part­ner. If I hear a call of two clubs or a raise to two hearts on my right, what should a dou­ble by me mean now? — Welling­ton Boot,

Spokane, Wash. AN­SWER: All low-level dou­bles of raised suits at your sec­ond turn should be take­out. I’d ex­pect a dou­ble of two hearts to be a good hand with both mi­nors or a bal­anced 18-19 with­out a stop­per. A dou­ble of an un­a­greed suit like two clubs should be de­fen­sive or penalty. Typ­i­cally, you would have four clubs, but three clubs with ex­tras is pos­si­ble.

Dear Mr. Wolff: When part­ner opens two clubs and the op­po­nents in­ter­vene, what is the best and sim­plest mean­ing for a pass and dou­ble? Should that mean­ing change de­pend­ing on the level of interventi­on?

— Dog Fight, Grand Junc­tion, Colo. AN­SWER: You should be pre­pared to shade a pos­i­tive re­sponse if you have a good suit. And a bid at no-trump should also be nat­u­ral and pos­i­tive. Pass and dou­ble can be used either as a dou­ble neg­a­tive and semi-pos­i­tive, or vice versa. There ap­pears to be no real ad­van­tage one way or the other.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I’m broadly fa­mil­iar with the rules on penalty cards if your op­po­nents cor­rect a re­voke, drop a card or lead out of turn. But I’m not clear about whether I should se­lec­tively en­force the penalty based on the strength of the player I am playing against. What is your view?

— Le­gal Seag­ull,

El Paso, Texas AN­SWER: At the lo­cal club, I’m in­clined to let play­ers pick up their penalty cards un­less my part­ner would be up­set by my le­niency. (Some pro­fes­sional-client relationsh­ips re­quire keep­ing the client happy!) I tend to call the direc­tor for leads out of turn, though, since this is too hard to un­wind. In se­ri­ous com­pe­ti­tion, I’d ex­pect my op­po­nents to en­force the rules and would nor­mally do the same against any able­bod­ied op­po­nent.

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