Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Say you are third to speak with ♠ Q-J-6-4,  Q-7-3,  K-3-2, ♣ Q-7-4. If there are two passes to you, would you consider opening this hand at any form of scoring or vulnerability?

Ferdinand the Bull, Madison, Wis.

Tactical light opening bids in third seat (as opposed to outright psychs) aren’t a terrible idea. Flat 10-counts might just qualify; bidding one spade here might make your opponents’ life harder. But the big question is whether your partner can be relied on not to hang you. Facing a weak or naive partner, I’d pass rather than risk the auction going out of control.

With ♠ 10-3-2,  K-Q-10-7-4,  Q-J-5, ♣ A-4, you have a minimum opening call of one heart. But what are you supposed to rebid over a response of two clubs, which we play as forcing to game?

Reverend Green, Cheyenne, Wyo.

I see questions like this fairly often, and the answer does depend a little on whether you believe rebidding your suit here suggests six or can be a good five-card suit. I would prefer to bid two hearts if possible, planning to rebid two no-trump over two spades from my partner or to raise two no-trump to three.

I’m a little lost on when a redouble should be for rescue and when to play. What guidelines can you give me?

Code Blue, Erie, Pa.

Any time no suit has been agreed and one defender doubles for penalty or passes a takeout double for penalty, the normal rule is that redouble would be rescue. The logic is that if you were happy to play that spot doubled, you would simply pass. Conversely, when a player doubles for takeout or to show cards, it is unlikely this will become the final contract. A redouble just shows a good hand in that context.

In response to a one-no-trump opening in one of your columns, why did opener’s partner bid two no-trump with a highly unbalanced hand? With 8 points, wouldn’t he bid his long suit (which was diamonds)?

Tier One, Columbia, S.C.

Many beginners now learn Jacoby transfers. Red-suits calls in response to one no-trump are transfers to hearts and spades. But how does responder show one or both minors? Methods vary, but the simplest way is to use the calls of two spades and two no-trump to show clubs and diamonds, respectively. Responder can then describe his hand further if it is too good to settle for the part-score.

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

Flibbertigibbet, Grand Forks, N.D.

The revoke penalty has recently been amended — yet again. There is no penalty if the revoking side won no tricks after the revoke, and a maximum of one if they won no more than one trick. Also, unless the revoking player won the revoke trick, it is a one-trick penalty. If he personally won the trick and his side took at least two tricks after the revoke, it is a two-trick penalty. If the penalty does not restore equity, the director has the power to further adjust the result.

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Philip BridgesJuly 7th, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Your answer to the question concerning revokes does not seem to agree with Law 64.A.1 and .2 in the 2017 Laws of Bridge.

bobbywolffJuly 8th, 2019 at 1:51 am

Hi Philip,

While I cannot completely guarantee the order, I am told that the revoke law has been updated (yet again) to be the rule to which tournament directors apply and is described in today’s answer to the query.

Of course, bridge is not the simplistic game some others prefer, my guess is that the current ACBL TD’s and bridge club directors are supposed to rule the way discussed, which seems to have more equity and less punishment than before.

In any event I will look into it and see if the above is what I think it is. If so, I will not reply, but if what is published is not true I’ll do what I can to remedy the harm I may have caused,

Thanks for the heads up.