Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Where will the next world championships be, and how will I be able to follow them online?

Cable Subscriber, Tucson, Ariz.

It pains me to admit that the venue for the championships has not yet been determined. It was planned for the UK to coincide with the Olympics there, but it is now more likely to be in France or Italy. Watch this space — and if you want to follow the contest live, you can listen to live commentary on BBO and livespring. We DO know that in 2013 the world championships will be in Bali.

My LHO held ♠ A-J-9,  A-4,  K-Q-8, ♣ Q-5-4-3-2 and overcalled one no-trump over my one-heart opening bid. That got him to a hopeless three no-trump contract with three small hearts facing the ace. What do you think about his choice?

Weak Link, Newark, N.J.

I would prefer to double with this hand because of the danger that my opponents have a long suit where I have a delicate stopper. By contrast, switch my red suits and I would bid one no-trump if my RHO had opened one diamond. The danger associated with a one-diamond opening bid is far lower.

Should you play Drury to show values and support for partner if the opponents double your partner's opening bid of a major? I understand there is a convention to handle that.

Drury on the Down-Low, North Bay, Ontario

Marty Bergen invented a convention called Bromad (Bergen Raises after a MAjor is Doubled). Bids of two clubs and two diamonds in response — whether by a passed hand or an unpassed hand — show 6-9 high-card points and three or four trumps respectively. There are many variations on this theme.

My partner was in third chair and after I opened two diamonds the next player bid two hearts. He held ♠ J-5,  Q-10-9-4,  J-5-4, ♣ A-Q-6-2 and passed, because he had good defense to hearts. This did not work out well since the opponents got together in spades. Any comments?

Gumball Rally, Sunbury, Pa.

The reason why it is clear-cut (some would say automatic, but I've been told that one should not use that word no matter how much I think it to be the case) is that raising diamonds makes it so much harder for the opponents to judge competitive auctions, and to locate a black-suit fit if they have one.

If the opponents double your partner's Stayman inquiry, how can you show a stopper? And how should you handle the continuations?

Fighting Back, San Francisco, Calif.

If the opponents double Stayman, you should redouble when you want to play there, and bid only when you have a stopper. Thus passing denies a stopper, letting responder redouble to reinitiate Stayman. If responder bids two diamonds after your pass of your double or redouble, that should be natural and nonforcing.

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