Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, September 6, 2009

Dear Mr. Wolff:

We play a direct cue-bid over the opponent’s opening bid as Michaels (both majors if the opening was a minor, the other major and an unspecified minor over a major opening). If you are in fourth chair and hear the opponents bid one suit and respond in another suit at the one-level, then how should the cue-bid be played — two-suiter, or something else?

—  Sandwich Spread, Hartford, Conn.

ANSWER: I recommend that fourth hand’s bid of either his LHO’s or RHO’s suit be treated as natural. Since you have double and two no-trump for the unbid suits, you do not need a third such call. Thus suit-bids and one no-trump all remain natural, showing good hands.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

I bid one diamond over one club, holding A-J-3, K-Q, A-Q-7-3-2, 10-3-2. Could I have bid one no-trump instead? In any event, having bid one diamond, I now heard my partner respond one heart. What is the best way forward now, and does it depend on whether the one-heart response was forcing?

—  Making Haste, Phoenix, Ariz.

ANSWER: This is a complex hand, no matter what your agreements are. Either the diamond or no-trump overcall is fine by me. (You do not need a club stop to overcall an opening of one club if the rest of your shape is suitable.) I’d cue-bid two clubs at my second turn, hoping to reach game in diamonds, hearts or no-trump, depending on my partner’s next action.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

Do you enjoy having your column on the internet? Is it more work for you? And does the column change when you post it online?

—  Solicitous, Troy, N.Y.

  ANSWER: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to mention again that my column now appears (almost) live on the internet. You can read it at Yes there is some extra work, mainly finding any errors that crept past me the first time I reviewed the column. But it is certainly worth it to widen the column’s readership and get responses from all over the world. And my wife, Judy, lightens the load too.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

If faced with the choice of a blind lead against either one no-trump or three no-trump, how do you feel about leading a major as opposed to a minor?

—  Major League, Boise, Idaho


ANSWER: When deciding on your lead, look at your suit quality first, then at whether it is a major or a minor. I’d lead from Q-10-x-x rather than A-9-x-x, no matter which was the major and which the minor. In case of a tie, pick the major.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

With —, A-Q-9-7-6-3-2, Q-9-7-6-5-3, —, I responded one heart to my partner’s one-club opening bid. Now LHO joined in with one spade. My partner bid one no-trump, and after RHO’s raise to two spades, I saw no future anywhere but four hearts. My partner had four small clubs and enough red-suit cards to have a play for six hearts. Should I have been more optimistic?

—  Falling Short, Jackson, Tenn.


ANSWER: Any time a freak hand comes up (and 0-7-6-0 certainly qualifies), do NOT worry about any normal action you took that could be improved on double dummy. If you plan to wait to see this hand again, don’t hold your breath. You did sensibly enough here — and if I could bid all my balanced hands sensibly, I’d pay off to misguessing the freaks.


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