ACES ON BRIDGE

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: If you open one spade and the op­po­nents in­ter­vene with two di­a­monds, what ac­tion would you take, hold­ing SPADES K-Q-8-7-2, HEARTS K-Q, DI­A­MONDS Q-3, CLUBS A-Q-J-4, when the auc­tion comes back around to you? I as­sume the hand is too good for a pass, but what ac­tion cov­ers the most bases?

— Great Auk, Galve­ston, Texas AN­SWER: You should not pass, though de­fend­ing two di­a­monds may be the only way to go plus — or yield the small­est neg­a­tive. If you do bid, a call of three clubs is on the ta­ble — the prob­lem be­ing that it is such a com­mit­tal ac­tion. Dou­bling for take­out and con­vert­ing a re­sponse of two hearts to three clubs sug­gests this hand type, but that route also lets part­ner bid two spades over the dou­ble, or even pass.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Say you have SPADES K-82, HEARTS K-Q-7-65-4 DI­A­MONDS Q-3, CLUBS J-4. Do you pass, open at the one-level or open at the twolevel, and what fac­tors de­ter­mine which way you should go?

— Green Grouper,

Eau Claire, Wis. AN­SWER: Non­vul­ner­a­ble, this is just too strong to pass in any seat. Open­ing two hearts in third seat might see your side un­der-com­pete if the hand be­longed to you. Vul­ner­a­ble, I hate the weak spots and the side de­fense, so I’d open one heart, even if it might be a frac­tion too weak. Ev­ery­thing else, es­pe­cially pass­ing, seems worse.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I am in­ter­ested in try­ing to ac­quire more mas­ter points. How do Swiss Teams work, and would they be a sen­si­ble way to go about achiev­ing my goal?

— Chas­ing the Dream,

Ketchikan, Alaska AN­SWER: The urge to ac­quire points of­ten ex­ists in in­verse pro­por­tion to the num­ber you al­ready have. But Swiss Teams are typ­i­cally played over a sin­gle day, with mul­ti­ple teams play­ing short matches. Your pairing is based on your day’s re­sults, with matches scored not on a win-loss ba­sis, but on a slid­ing scale where you can earn from 0-20 vic­tory points. Th­ese points are ac­cu­mu­lated over the whole event.

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