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

Dear Mr. Wolff: With this hand: SPADES 3, HEARTSK 10 5 4 2, DIAMONDSA J 7 2, CLUBS K Q 3, I opened one heart and heard two spades to­myleft, fol­lowed by a dou­ble from my­part­ner; I then bid three di­a­monds. Now my­part­ner bid three spades. What does that show, and what should I do?

— Bum­blepuppy, Ketchikan, Alaska AN­SWER: The three­spade call asks you to bid three no-trump, or it may be the irst move in a slam try for di­a­monds. You can’t bid three no-trump, of course, but you can bid four clubs to sug­gest this shape (or even raise to four spades to em­pha­size the spade con­trol). Dear Mr. Wolff: Say you deal your­self SPADES A 7 3, HEARTSA J 9 2, DIAMONDSA J 7 6 2, CLUBS 10. If you open one di­a­mond and hear a re­sponse of one spade, what op­tions would you con­sider sen­si­ble?

— Brun­hilda, Union City, Tenn. AN­SWER: You have a good but not great hand, with the right shape but not quite enough for a re­verse to two hearts. Give your­self the di­a­mond queen in­stead of those red jacks, and the aces might per­suade me to do just that. Since you can­not re­peat di­a­monds or bid no-trump, of course, you’re left with a slightly in­el­e­gant raise to two spades. The hand is a lit­tle strong for that, but you have only three trumps, so it feels about right.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Please ex­plain tome­what a

safety play in bridge con­sists of. I seem to see quite a few dif­fer­ent plays de­scribed by that term. — Taxi Driver, Pitts­burgh, Pa. AN­SWER: There are two com­pletely dif­fer­ent plays lumped un­der the head­ing of “safety play.” The irst (the one I nor­mally mean) in­volves pro­tect­ing your­self against an un­kind dis­tri­bu­tion by a cor­rect move. For ex­am­ple, with

K Q 9 2 fac­ing A 8 7 4, you might start with the king to pick up a bare jack or 10 in ei­ther op­po­nent’s hand. The sec­ond usage is like a gam­bit at chess: sacri ic­ing a trick you may not have had to lose to en­sure you don’t lose two tricks. With K J 8 72 fac­ing A 9 4, cash­ing the king and lead­ing to the nine would be an ex­am­ple.

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