Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dear Mr. Wolff:

In fourth seat, with A-2, Q-10-7, 9-6-4, A-J-10-3-2, you hear two hearts on your left, doubled by partner, passed around to you. What should you do now?

—  Good Vibrations, Jackson, Miss.

ANSWER: A simple but unilateral action would be to bid three no-trump, because I feel that the hand is good enough to force to game. With a little less (make the club jack the four), I would bid three clubs to show invitational values. With even less, I would bid two no-trump as Lebensohl. The call is a transfer to three clubs to sign off in a minor. I’ll expand on this theme in a column soon.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

What procedure should be followed at duplicate after a hesitation by one player and an action by his partner?

—  Stutter Step, Pleasanton, Calif.

ANSWER: First, anyone can hesitate if he has a problem. But if his partner is given information by that tempo break, he should avoid taking any action demonstrably suggested by the pause. Note that if there is no logical alternative to the action (even if the tempo break points in that direction), he is permitted to take that action.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

I overcalled a weak two hearts with a two-spade bid. My LHO jumped to four hearts and my partner doubled. is that card-showing, takeout, or penalty?

—  No News, Mason City, Iowa

ANSWER: This is more about probabilities than anything else. The opponents announced a big fit. Does that mean partner does not want to double for penalties? No, but he is more likely to want to have you look at your hand and remove with extra shape, and only sit for the double if relatively balanced.

  Dear Mr. Wolff:

Holding Q-7-3, 10-9-6-4, A-J-8-3, A-Q, I assume you would open one diamond. After a two-heart overcall and a double from your partner, would you pass, bid two no-trump, or try two spades?

—  Close Call, Orlando, Fla.

ANSWER: I see you have a real problem. Passing without sure trump tricks might be right, but is certainly a gamble. Still, bidding two spades with three-card support does not have much upside. So I’d settle for a simple call of two no-trump, assuming partner will have a heart or two, and that even if he does not, the opponents will not be able to run their hearts.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

How do Board-A-Match teams work?. Is it really a team contest? Does one use teams scoring?

—  Board Certified, Waterbury, Conn.

ANSWER: No, you do not use IMP scoring, but you do score up as a team, although you use the simplest of scoring approaches. The same deals are played at two tables. If you and your partner are East-West, your teammates are North-South at the other table. If your result is better than that of the pair playing your teammates, you score a point, half if the results are tied, zero if they outscored you.


If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, e-mail him at Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2009.