ACES ON BRIDGE
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.