Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dear Mr. Wolff:

When is a revoke established? Last week in my duplicate club my RHO revoked as declarer, but then corrected it after my partner had led to the next trick. The Director said that there was no penalty and the revoke could be corrected. Can this be right?

—  The Enforcer, Woodland Hills, Calif.


ANSWER: In midplay a revoke is established only if the player who revoked (or his partner) played to the next trick. This did not happen here, so the revoke is not established, and declarer can change his card without penalty. But your partner gets to retract his lead now and can lead something else.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

If you held K-9-3, Q-5-4, A-J-3-2, A-10-2, I assume you would open one club and plan to rebid one no-trump if partner responded one spade. Does the picture alter if LHO doubled one club and partner bid one spade? Does that call suggest or promise five spades?

—  Looking for More, Selma, Ala.


ANSWER: I would still rebid one no-trump because I have honors in all suits. The one-spade bid here suggests at least four decent spades (headed by a top honor). With a bad suit and a bad hand, you would pass; with 7-10 and a weak suit, you might well opt to respond one no-trump and bypass the weak suit. In other words, move the heart queen into diamonds, and you might tempt me to raise spades, but not with this hand.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

You recently stated that a two-suited opening bid was allowed in Europe but not in the United States. Why is a bid that is legal elsewhere not permitted by the ACBL? It would seem that to prepare us for anything that comes up, especially with so many top foreign players coming here or our going abroad, we need to keep an open mind on all bridge bids.

—  Equal Rights, Albuquerque, N.M.

  ANSWER: A reasonable idea, but it is not the way of the world. Some would argue that to maximize income, we tie our players’ hands behind their backs, then wonder why no youngsters are participating. As against that, will players stop competing in events if they have to defend against complex methods? I haven’t found that to be the case.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

In second seat I opened one diamond with: K-9-3-2, K-6-4, A-Q-J-10, 9-2. My partner made an inverted raise to two diamonds. Would you rebid in no-trump, spades, or diamonds, and what would determine your choice?

—  Rabid Rebidder, Danville, Ill.


ANSWER: This feels like a semibalanced hand because of the two small clubs. So a call of two spades looks closest to the mark. Reraising diamonds with only four seems premature, and I don’t want to wrong-side no-trump. We can always get to no-trump later.


Dear Mr. Wolff:

At my local club we always get killed when we play IMPs and our opponents open a kamikaze 10-12 no-trump. We play Cappelletti over a weak no-trump, but we don’t know what to do when they initiate a runout. How should the auction continue after we double and they run?

—  Run Over, Levittown, Pa.


ANSWER: I suggest that passing a runout up to two hearts is forcing. The first double is takeout from either side (subsequent doubles are penalty), and responder bids as if his partner had opened one no-trump and the opponents had intervened. Stayman and transfers apply over a pass or a rescue to two clubs; Lebensohl applies over any higher escape. In virtually all other auctions, everything is natural.


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2010. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact