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

Dear Mr. Wolff: Re­cently, I opened one di­a­mond with SPADES Q-6, HEARTS J-3, DI­A­MONDS A-J-7-4-2, CLUBS A-K-J-9, and I heard my left-hand op­po­nent over­call one spade. When my part­ner dou­bled, I was not sure at what level to bid clubs, or whether to gam­ble on one notrump. My part­ner told me later that a jump to three clubs would not be forc­ing here. Is that true? I thought opener’s jumps in new suits were forc­ing.

— Shak­ing Stephen,

Elkhart, Ind. AN­SWER: You must dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween an un­con­tested se­quence — where your jump re­bid of three clubs would be forc­ing — and a jump in re­sponse to a neg­a­tive dou­ble. Think of the lat­ter se­quence as jump rais­ing a suit part­ner has im­plied. Hav­ing not opened one no-trump (well done!), a jump to three clubs shows this hand nicely.

Dear Mr. Wolff: What is the main dif­fer­ence be­tween the mean­ings of your calls in di­rect and bal­anc­ing seat? Is it al­ways about high­card ranges, or are there po­si­tions in which bids have dif­fer­ent mean­ings?

— Pro­tec­tion­ist,

Lo­rain, Ohio AN­SWER: When you are in the bal­anc­ing or pro­tect­ing seat, you tend to re­open when pos­si­ble, so your ac­tions may be made with about a king less than they guar­an­tee in di­rect seat. In that seat, jumps over one-level bids, how­ever, are 13-16, not weak, with good suits. And a jump to two notrump would be strong, not un­usual, with a range of 18-20 or so.

Dear Mr. Wolff: What are the mer­its and drawbacks of third-and-fifth leads, and why should I con­sider play­ing them? — Pippy Long­stock­ing, San Juan, Puerto Rico AN­SWER: Third-and-fifth leads may help you work out how long part­ner’s suit is. Fourth-high­est and sec­ond from bad suits may help you dif­fer­en­ti­ate when the lead is from an honor or from weak­ness. The two-card dis­par­ity of a low card be­ing from three or five cards (as op­posed to the one-card dis­par­ity of fourth from four or five cards) is what may help you out here. But if you lead count cards, your part­ner will of­ten have no idea how good your suit is.

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