ACES

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: I was re­cently con­fronted with an auc­tion where I had to check the backs of the cards. I heard one spade to my left, a one-no-trump call from my part­ner and a dou­ble to my right. I held SPADES A Q 3, HEARTS 10 5 3 2, DI­A­MONDS A Q 7 4, CLUBS Q 3. What could be go­ing on, and how does the bid­ding add up?

An­swer: Some­thing cer­tainly smells ishy, does it not? 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: As re­spon­der, I have re­ceived con­flict­ing ad­vice about my sec­ond call, or re­bid. I had un­der­stood that if I ini­tially re­spond one heart, a re­bid by me of my own suit would guar­an­tee six hearts. But my part­ner says if he has a weak hand, he must re­bid his suit, no mat­ter how weak it is, to show ive. Any com­ments?

An­swer: I al­ways like to be able to con irm my cor­re­spon­dents’ opin­ions. Since opener will al­ways raise his part­ner with four trumps, or with three when his hand is not bal­anced, the fail­ure to raise ba­si­cally de­nies a it. So, re­spon­der will al­most never re­peat a ive-card suit un­less it looks like six. As re­spon­der, sup­port part­ner, bid notrump, or pass with ive cards in your orig­i­nal suit and a hand that has no game in­ter­est.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I passed in irst seat at match­point pairs, hold­ing SPADES J 7 4 3, HEARTS A J 5 4, DI­A­MONDS Q 8 3, CLUBS K 4 and heard my LHO open one no-trump, which was passed around to me. We play Cap­pel­letti, where a dou­ble by a passed hand would be a max­i­mum pass. Would you do that, or balance with two di­a­monds to show the ma­jors, or just let them play one no-trump?

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.

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