ACES

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

Dear Mr. Wolff: Most play­ers in my cir­cle use sup­port dou­bles and sup­port re­dou­bles, to show three-card sup­port for part­ner’s suit af­ter a one-over-one re­sponse. Do you recommend these meth­ods?

An­swer: Sup­port dou­bles on min­i­mum bal­anced hands some­times lead to your side get­ting too high, but the main prob­lem with sup­port dou­bles is that they are un­lim­ited. If the next hand raises, opener might have to take uni­lat­eral ac­tion when he has some ex­tras. And dou­bling with lop­sided hands, such as a 7 3 shape, is not ideal, ei­ther. I pre­fer dou­ble to show ex­tra val­ues, not promis­ing three-card sup­port, and re­dou­ble to show a strong hand.

Dear Mr. Wolff: What would you do with this hand in re­sponse to an arti icial and strong two-club open­ing: SPADES Q J 3, HEARTS K Q 10 9 4, DI­A­MONDS 10 8, CLUBS 9 7 3?

An­swer: Most play­ers have speci ic re­quire­ments for a nat­u­ral pos­i­tive.” I pre­fer re­spon­der to be able to de ine his hand as eco­nom­i­cally as he can. Be­gin­ning with a two-di­a­mond re­lay (not neg­a­tive) often leaves you play­ing catch-up on hands — as here. Hearts is where you live, and bid­ding them should leave you in a bet­ter spot.

Dear Mr. Wolff: In a lot of your col­umns, you recommend ag­gres­sive and off-shape take­out dou­bles of an op­po­nent’s one-level mi­nor-suit open­ing. Why does this not ap­ply to the ma­jors?

An­swer: Dou­bling a mi­nor is a safe and cheap way into the auc­tion. The goal is to com­pete in one of the ma­jors, if pos­si­ble. I’d dou­ble a one-club open­ing with most bal­anced open­ers hav­ing three or more cards in each ma­jor. Over a ma­jor, the auc­tion is higher, and you are less likely to be able to com­pete ef­fec­tively with­out length in the other ma­jor, so I pre­fer to have four hearts or short spades to dou­ble one spade.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I picked up this col­lec­tion in a teams match: SPADES K Q8, HEARTS A K 10 5, DI­A­MONDS

9 4, CLUBS A J 9 2. My left-hand op­po­nent opened one di­a­mond, and my right-hand op­po­nent re­sponded one spade. What would you do?

An­swer: I am not a fan of stop­per­less no-trump calls, but I would hardly be able to pass with such strength. I would try my luck with a dou­ble and hope to catch a it. If part­ner jumps in clubs, I sup­pose I will cue-bid three spades, since my style is to show stop­pers rather than ask for them if the op­po­nents have bid two suits, look­ing to reach three no-trump.

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