Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dear Mr. Wolff:

Where can I find bridge books for absolute beginners?

—  One Small Step, Newark, N.J.

ANSWER: You could try a big bridge bookseller like Baron Barclay (who can be reached at or by telephone at 1-800-274-2221). They will know just what you need.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

You are third to speak with J-9, A-Q-7-3-2, 10-3-2, Q-7-4. If there are two passes to you, would you consider opening with a weak-two bid?

—  Risky Business, Levittown, Pa.

ANSWER: This pattern is not ideal for a weak-two bid. (We all know the bid promises six, but in third seat who’s counting?) If you are going to open a five-card suit, you’d like more internal solidity or a side four-card suit, providing more offense and fewer quick losers. Opening one heart in third seat would not worry me as much, though.

Dear Mr. Wolff:

What are the instances, if any, of a two-trick penalty for a revoke? I understand the laws have changed.

—  Keystone Kop, Memphis, Tenn.

ANSWER: The 2007 laws have simplified the revoke penalties. There is no penalty if the revoking side won no tricks after the revoke, and a maximum of one if they won only one trick. That said, unless the player who revoked won the trick himself with that “revoking card,” it is a one-trick penalty. If he personally won the trick and his side subsequently won at least two tricks, it is a two-trick penalty. If the penalty does not restore equity, the Director has powers to adjust the result.

  Dear Mr. Wolff:

Yesterday at the club many players encountered a hand that caused them considerable problems. They held Q-3, A, A-Q-2, K-Q-J-9-7-4-3 and opened one club, hearing two diamonds on their left and two spades from their partner. What would you do next?

—  Upward Mobility, Wausau, Wis.


ANSWER: This hand has such huge slam potential that you should ignore the possibility that it is right to stop in three no-trump. Jump to four clubs to show a good club suit and a good hand, prepared to bid six clubs on your own if partner simply raises. If he can cue-bid a red suit, the sky is the limit.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

In a recent question you had one player responding one no-trump to his partner’s overcall of one spade over one heart. At his next turn, after his partner introduced a diamond suit, responder then bid the opponent’s suit. If the first call of one no-trump showed a heart stopper, surely the second call could not be a cuebid and must be showing a genuine heart suit. Am I correct?

—  The Riddler, Pueblo, Colo.


ANSWER: Many bridge players normally assume that you cannot play in the opponents’ major suit, unless you have a specific agreement that such a call is natural. That rule applies here: a two-heart call simply shows a good hand and extra diamond support — maybe five trumps and a 10-count, a little too good for a simple raise to three diamonds.


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