ACES

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: My reg­u­lar part­ner and I play four-suit trans­fers over a oneno-trump open­ing, such that two spades shows clubs, and two no-trump shows di­a­monds. We do not cur­rently have a mean­ing for the spare bid of three clubs. What would you rec­om­mend?

An­swer: Some part­ner­ships play three clubs as show­ing both mi­nors, ei­ther forc­ing to game or in­vi­ta­tional. Since all sin­gle-suited club hands go through two spades, the most use­ful al­ter­na­tive mean­ing is to use the bid as ive-card Stay­man. This can help you ind your 5 3 its. See bridge­bum.com/ pup­pet_s­tay­man.php for more de­tails.

Dear Mr. Wolff: In a teams game last week, I picked up SPADES Q 8 74, HEARTS A 8, DI­A­MONDS K J 9 2, CLUBS 8 6 3. My part­ner opened one club, and my right-hand-op­po­nent over­called two hearts. I dou­bled, and the next hand jumped to four hearts. I dou­bled on the way out and was left to ind a lead. What would you choose?

An­swer: With the bal­ance of power and strength in ev­ery suit, I would seek to limit de­clarer’s ruf ing po­ten­tial with the trump ace and an­other trump. I would then wait for my side-suit tricks to come in. Of course, if dummy comes down with a big source of tricks, I can re­con­sider; hope­fully, it will not be too late to cash out.

Dear Mr. Wolff: What do you think of this bid­ding prob­lem? You pick up SPADES A J 7 6 2, HEARTS A 8, DI­A­MONDS A J 10 4, CLUBS K J and open one spade. What would you re­bid af­ter a one no-trump re­sponse from part­ner?

An­swer: I’d raise to two no-trump, show­ing 17 18 points. A two-di­a­mond call is too risky, since part­ner may pass with a 7-count with three or four di­a­monds and one spade. (With a dou­ble­ton spade, he would usu­ally give false pref­er­ence to two spades.) Of course, if I do bid two di­a­monds and my part­ner keeps the bid­ding alive, I plan to bid two no-trump. This hand is not quite worth in­sist­ing on game.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I have heard my bridge friends talk about pro­tec­tive bids. What does that mean?

An­swer: A pro­tec­tive bid oc­curs in the pass-out seat, usu­ally when the op­po­nents have stopped in part-score. It is be­cause the op­po­nents have lim­ited their hands that we can bal­ance with less than we would need in a live auc­tion, when one op­po­nent is still un­lim­ited. It is eas­ier to bal­ance with short­ness in the op­po­nents’ suit or enough small cards to know part­ner will be short.

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