ACES

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - BOBBY WOLFF ON BRIDGE

Dear Mr. Wolff: Re­cently, while declar­ing four hearts, I reached trick 13 and dis­cov­ered my left-hand op­po­nent, who was on lead, had no cards left. The miss­ing di­a­mond jack from his hand had been played si­mul­ta­ne­ously with an­other card (a club), but no one had no­ticed. What is sup­posed to hap­pen now?

An­swer: Call the di­rec­tor irst. I’d ex­pect the di­a­mond jack to be re­stored to your op­po­nent’s hand and led to the last trick. If the player has re­voked in the mean­time, the penalty is what­ever the re­voke laws de­mand, but if he has man­aged to fol­low suit through­out thus far, he can count his lucky stars — there is no penalty.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I know fourth-suit forc­ing sets up a game-forc­ing auc­tion. But how does opener deal with a fourth-suit forc­ing call, hold­ing SPA DE SA Q J 4, HEART SJ 1042, DI­A­MONDS 5, CLUBS K Q 108? If you open one club and part­ner re­sponds one di­a­mond, do you bid your bet­ter ma­jor? If you bid hearts and your part­ner bids one spade, do you raise or bid no-trump?

An­swer: There are dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to fourth-suit at the one-level, but whether this truly sets up a game force or not, it is sim­plest to play con­tin­u­a­tions by opener as en­tirely nat­u­ral. Here, a call of two spades sug­gests this pat­tern and

12 14 points, while a jump to three spades is the same shape but 15 17. Rais­ing the fourth suit shows four (as­sum­ing you haven’t by­passed the suit, in which case it sug­gests honor-third).

Dear Mr. Wolff: What is your opin­ion on open­ing a pre-empt on one fewer card than might be ex­pected in third seat, non­vul­ner­a­ble, or in­deed at any other po­si­tion or vul­ner­a­bil­ity? If you are not en­tirely op­posed, what are the con­di­tions you would re­quire for such an ac­tion?

An­swer: I’m op­posed to ran­dom fri­vol­ity, though with a good suit and low de­fense — say, king-queen- ifth — I can un­der­stand feel­ing the need to act fac­ing a passed part­ner. I don’t mind bid­ding one of a ma­jor with a ive-card suit and lim­ited val­ues in third seat. But an out­right psych tends to de­stroy part­ner­ship trust for the next time you pre-empt, so I like to keep my hand roughly in line with what my part­ner might hope for.

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