ACES ON BRIDGE

The Island Packet (Sunday) - - Puzzles - By Bobby Wolff Dist. by An­drews McMeel for UFS

Dear Mr. Wolff: Iwas re­cently con­fronted with an auc­tion where I had to check the backs of the cards. I heard one spade to­myleft, a oneno-trump call frommy part­ner and a dou­ble to myright. I held SPADES A Q 3, HEARTS10 5 32, DIAMONDSA Q 7 4, CLUBSQ 3. What could be go­ing on, and how does the bid­ding add up?

— Prince of Den­mark,

Bay City, Mich. AN­SWER: Re­dou­ble, as­sum­ing that to be strong, and you will dis­cover whether it’s your part­ner or your left-hand op­po­nent who’s hav­ing a lit­tle fun. I’d guess that if your side is non­vul­ner­a­ble, your part­ner may be ex­per­i­ment­ing, but if the op­po­nents are non­vul­ner­a­ble, the open­ing bid­der may crack and re­move him­self.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I passed in irst seat at match­point pairs, hold­ing SPADES J 74 3, HEARTSA J 5 4, DIAMONDSQ 8 3, CLUBS K 4 and heard myLHOopen one no-trump, which was passed around to me. We­play Cap­pel­letti, where a dou­ble by a passed hand would be a max­i­mumpass. Would you do that, or balance with two di­a­monds to show the ma­jors, or just let themplay one notrump? — On the Brink,

Port­land, Ore. AN­SWER: You left out the crit­i­cal piece of in­for­ma­tion, namely the vul­ner­a­bil­ity. Think of vul­ner­a­bil­ity as a traf ic sig­nal. With nei­ther side vul­ner­a­ble, the light is

green; with both sides vul­ner­a­ble, it is red; and with equal vul­ner­a­bil­ity, the light is yel­low. I would act at green, pass at red, and bid at yel­low with 4 4 only if this hand had the king in spades rather than clubs. With 5 4 shape, I’d prob­a­bly act at any vul­ner­a­bil­ity.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I en­joy your column and won­dered where you get the quotes that pre­cede the

hand? Doyou re­search them your­self or have a se­cret source?

— Whirly Bird, Charleston, S.C. AN­SWER: For the quotes, Bartlett’s, The Ox­ford Dic­tio­nary of Quo­ta­tions and wik­iquote.org are fer­tile sources. My ed­i­tor warns me when my choice is in­ap­pro­pri­ate or mis­at­tributed. When I can ind some­thing that makes me think, or smile, I’m happy.

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