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

Dear Mr. Wolff: How would you han­dle a hand like SPADES J 4, HEARTS K 65 4, DI­A­MONDS K Q 4 2, CLUBS 8 7 2, fac­ing a strong no-trump? Would vul­ner­a­bil­ity or the form of scor­ing af­fect your de­ci­sion?

— Gun for Hire, Or­lando, Fla.

AN­SWER: It seems clearly right to start with a Stay­man two-club call, with the in­ten­tion of merely invit­ing game even if you ind a heart it. The honors in the long suits some­what com­pen­sate for your lack of in­ter­me­di­ates. With some heart in­ter­me­di­ates, you might per­suade me to do more. If vul­ner­a­ble at teams, I might bid to four hearts if we found a it.

Dear Mr. Wolff: My part­ner and I have been ar­gu­ing about whether there is any sort of hand that would pass in irst or sec­ond chair and then back into the op­po­nent’s auc­tion with a pre-empt. Is such a thing pos­si­ble?

— Bet­ter Late Than Never, Spring ield, Mass.

AN­SWER: There must be hands with the shape for a pre­empt but not the right honor lo­ca­tion, where you might pass ini­tially but de­cide to pre-empt later. Sim­i­larly, you may have a hand with too much de­fense or with a side-suit. When vul­ner­a­ble, you might also not have a good enough suit to act on ini­tially. When­ever your part­ner bids, though, jumps by a passed hand in a new suit will not be a sin­gle-suited pre­empt but should show it for your part­ner.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Hold­ing SPADES Q 7 3 2, HEARTS K , DI­A­MONDS A J 4 3, CLUBS A Q 3, please dis­cuss what you might open and why.

— No Way Jose, Belling­ham, Wash.

AN­SWER: Not all 18-counts are cre­ated equal. This hand, with its dou­ble­ton heart honors not pulling their full weight and no in­ter­me­di­ates, looks like a strong no-trump to me. You could per­suade me that if your no-trump range in­cludes good 14-counts, then you should go high and not low; I’ll take that un­der ad­vise­ment. At pairs, though, I’d re­luc­tantly open one di­a­mond so as to go with the ield.

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