Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dear Mr. Wolff:

My partner opened one no-trump and I transferred to a major. After my partner completed the transfer, I bid a new suit. Is that last bid nonforcing, game-forcing, or forcing for one round only?

—  Force-Feeding, Bay City, Mich.

ANSWER: It would be nice to have a way to transfer and then invite, other than by rebidding two no-trump after the transfer. But to do that, you would not be able to transfer and then agree on a suit below game. Play the sequence as game-forcing; I’ll suggest a solution to the problem I’ve raised in a future column.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

Holding Q-7-3, A-2, Q-10-9-6-4, A-10-3, I doubled a one-heart opening on my right, my partner responded one spade, and my RHO bid one no-trump to end the auction. What should I lead?

—  Open Sesame, Newark, N.J.

ANSWER: I would lead a diamond — a small one, not the 10, despite my interior sequence. The odds that partner has a doubleton honor are just too high for me to be able to risk wasting a high spot-card.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

When can a player who makes an insufficient bid using a bidding box retract his call without penalty? I thought committing this crime would always lead to a penalty.

—  Loophole Larry, Kansas City, Mo.

ANSWER: Let’s distinguish between physical and mental errors with bidding boxes. If you intend to do one thing and end up doing another, that is a physical error. There is no penalty for that. A mental error occurs when you do what you intended to do, but you missed a call or simply failed to realize your bid was not sufficient. In that case, the rules about insufficient bids apply.

  Dear Mr. Wolff:

What is the range for responding with a call of one no-trump to a minor-suit opening? Does it vary in competition?

—  Free-Range Chicken, Memphis, Tenn.

ANSWER: While some people believe a response of one no-trump to one club should be 8-10 and not 6-10, this requires specific partnership agreement. I do not play it that way myself. But in competition, a bid of one no-trump generally shows about 8-10. With less, pass first and hope to introduce no-trump later, if appropriate.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

Holding Q-9-6-4-2, K-9-7-3-2, 4, J-7, how would you develop the hand when partner opens one club and the next hand overcalls one diamond? Would you bid a major –and if so, which — or would you make a negative double?

—  Choice of Weevils, Eau Claire, Wis.

ANSWER: A negative double here should show 4-4 in the majors. It is rare that you would have one five-card major, let alone both. With your hand it is easy to bid spades, then hearts, and let partner pick where he wants to play. If partner rebids two clubs, I would let him play there.


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