ACES ON BRIDGE

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - By Bobby Wolff

Dear Mr. Wolff: When your part­ner dou­bles a one-spade opener, do you play the dou­ble of a raise to four spades by your right-hand op­po­nent as penalty or take­out? As the orig­i­nal dou­bler, I was faced with this prob­lem at my sec­ond turn with a 1-45-3 hand with ex­tra

val­ues, and did not know whether to bid or pass.

— Spare Tire, West Palm Beach, Fla. ANSWER: I’d play your part­ner’s dou­ble as op­tional; you tend to pass the dou­ble un­less re­mov­ing to a con­tract you ex­pect to make. The call of four no-trump in re­sponse to the dou­ble would sug­gest a two-suiter, ini­tially the mi­nors, but you can have hearts and a mi­nor, plan­ning to cor­rect a re­sponse in your shortage to the next-higher suit.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I dealt and passed with SPADES Q-103-2, CLUBS Q-3-2, DI­A­MONDS 9-7-5-42, CLUBS A, and my part­ner opened one club, af­ter which the next hand dou­bled. What is the best tac­ti­cal re­sponse here to make sure we do not miss our best fit? And what re­bid strat­egy do you have?

— Lost Hori­zon, Browns­boro, Ala. ANSWER: If you re­spond one di­a­mond, you may lose a ma­jor-suit fit, should your part­ner elect to re­bid one no-trump with any bal­anced hand. How­ever, I sus­pect that af­ter the dou­ble, part­ner will not re­bid one notrump over one di­a­mond un­less he has both ma­jor suits well-guarded, so this would be my choice. The op­po­nents may in­tro­duce a ma­jor and make the auc­tion eas­ier for us.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Do you have any com­ments on the head­line news re­cently about the sus­pen­sion of a top Monaco player for a drug in­frac­tion?

— Rag­ing Bull, Nashville, Tenn. ANSWER: I’m both up­set and sad to hear that Geir Hel­gemo ap­pears to have been pun­ished for what was not a per­for­manceen­hanc­ing drug, be­cause the Olympic rules re­quire it. Ev­ery­one who knows him would con­sider him a nice and sport­ing guy and one whose tal­ent is truly un­de­ni­able.

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