Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, June 17th, 2012

Holding ♠ A-9-7-4-2,  Q-10-2,  K-Q-5-3, ♣ J, I assume you would overcall one spade over one diamond. When the next hand doubles and your partner bids two clubs, what would you do next?

Advancing Arthur, Saint John's, Newfoundland

Partner's two-club bid is natural, does not promise great values, and is nonforcing. I'd expect it not to be based on support for you, so despite your singleton club, I think you should pass. Just for the record I'd expect a jump to three clubs to show clubs and spade support — at least honor-third. A good hand and no support should start with a redouble.

In the following uncontested auction, we were a casual partnership with no tight agreements. We made the following bids: one heart – two diamonds – three diamonds – three hearts – four no-trump. Which suit should be trump, hearts or diamonds?

Outside the Box, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

Hearts, the last-bid suit, is trumps unless or until opener puts diamonds back in play. He could do so by bidding four diamonds, but only in that way.

You hold ♠ Q-7-5-2,  Q-5-3,  Q-9-3-2, ♣ A-10. After you pass initially and hear a pass on your left and two diamonds from your partner, what is the best plan? Does it depend on the vulnerability and partnership style?

Upper Limit, Charleston, S.C.

These days the likelihood that your partner might have only a five-card diamond suit is far from negligible, especially if the vulnerability might encourage such aggression. Given your possible tricks in the majors, it looks logical just to raise to three diamonds and let the opponents sort it out from there.

I'd like to try to start teaching bridge at my local school. Can you suggest where I could get teaching tools from?

Learning Curve, Vancouver, Wash.

Perhaps you could try contracting Patty Tucker, at The ACBL has plenty of teaching materials it will let you have. I urge any prospective teacher to check out what is freely available.

Say you are deal yourself: ♠ A-4,  7-6-5,  Q-5-3, ♣ K-Q-9-3-2 and pass. Now you hear a weak two diamonds to your left. When this comes back to you, is it right to reopen, and if so with what call?

Selling Out, Ketchikan, Alaska.

This hand is too good to pass, and you do have the protection that your partner will not go overboard since you are a passed hand. Obviously you cannot double for takeout, so I'd gamble with a call of two no-trump, which is simply natural and suggests a maximum pass. The second choice is a call of three clubs, but that seems even more committal than my preferred choice.

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