The Wichita Eagle (Sunday) - - Fun & Games - By Bobby Wolff

Dear Mr. Wolff: When opener sup­ports re­spon­der’s ma­jor suit, I know that you believe the raise can be based on ei­ther three or four trumps. Can re­spon­der ask his part­ner to de­scribe his hand more pre­cisely?

— De­fine and Dandy, Water­bury, Conn.

AN­SWER: A con­ven­tion called “Spi­ral Scan,” by some, is used af­ter opener raises re­spon­der’s ma­jor-suit re­sponse. A call of two no-trump over the raise lets opener use a four-step re­sponse; min­i­mum with three and four trumps, re­spec­tively, max­i­mum with three and four trumps, re­spec­tively. Re­spon­der’s two-spade call over two hearts tends to show four, to help reach a 4 4 it if opener has raised hearts with four spades and three hearts.

Dear Mr. Wolff: If you were dealt SPADES A 9 7 4 2, HEARTS J 5 2, DI­A­MONDS A K 7, CLUBS Q 2, and heard your part­ner open one no-trump, would you merely drive to game, or would you in­vite slam? (As the cards lie, my part­ner had king-queen-third of spades and a 16-count, but he had all the missing con­trols ex­cept the club ace, and we had 12 top tricks.)

— Un­der­done, Mem­phis, Tenn.

AN­SWER: I would trans­fer to spades and then bid three no-trump, not con­sid­er­ing slam un­less my part­ner broke the trans­fer at his irst turn. But if, over my jump to three no-trump, my part­ner made a call other than four spades, it should show a max­i­mum with three trumps. Then I’d prob­a­bly up and bid slam.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Please ex­plain how lead­ing thir­dan­difth or third-and-low works — as op­posed to fourth high­est. What are the main differences, and which would you rec­om­mend I play?

— Spot Belly, Staten Is­land, N.Y.

AN­SWER: Lead­ing fourth­high­est, but also low­est from three, may make those two holdings hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate. By con­trast, lead­ing a high spot card from two or four cards, but low­est from three or ive, means that any am­bi­gu­ity should be be­tween holdings that are two cards apart. An ex­pe­ri­enced part­ner­ship might con­sider mov­ing on from fourth high­est.

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