Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 4th, 2019

You recently ran a hand where you passed with a 3=3=2=5 9-count including king-queen-fifth of clubs and king-jack-third of hearts. After one diamond to your left, one spade from partner and a negative double to the right, why not bid two clubs for the lead in case West declares a red suit? You can bid two spades later, and if partner raises clubs, you can revert to spades.

Barbara Ann, Burbank, Calif.

Here since you didn’t have a weak two in clubs available, this sequence would be consistent with just clubs, without spade tolerance. Yes, you can probably survive the action, but I’d be a little unhappy at my low offense and defense against hearts here. Raising spades looks safer and simpler.

When your partner doubles a one-spade opener, do you play the double of a raise to four spades by your right-hand opponent as penalty or take-out? As the original doubler, I was faced with this problem at my second turn with a 1-4-5-3 hand with extra values, and did not know whether to bid or pass.

Spare Tire, West Palm Beach, Fla.

I’d play your partner’s double as optional; you tend to pass the double unless removing to a contract you expect to make. The call of four no-trump in response to the double would suggest a two-suiter, initially the minors, but you can have hearts and a minor, planning to correct a response in your shortage to the next-higher suit.

What are the rules when you are dummy and you believe one of your opponents may have revoked in the middle of the hand? Must you stay silent or tell your partner?

Ruling Passion, Durham, N.C.

As dummy, you must not draw attention to an irregularity in the middle of the hand. But when the hand is over — preferably before all the cards are put away and the evidence vanishes — tell the table what has happened, call the director, and if necessary point out where you thought the revoke had happened. Importantly, when an irregularity is agreed to have occurred, you should call the director as dummy even if no else does.

I d e a l t a n d p a s s e d w i t h ♠ Q-10-3-2, ♣ Q-3-2,  9-7-5-4-2, ♣ A, and my partner opened one club, after which the next hand doubled. What is the best tactical response here to make sure we do not miss our best fit? And what rebid strategy do you have?

Lost Horizon, Brownsboro, Ala.

You may lose a fit if your partner rebids one no-trump (concealing a major suit over your response of one diamond). However, I suspect that after the double, partner will not rebid one no-trump over one diamond unless he has both major suits well-guarded, so this would be my choice. The opponents may introduce a major and make the auction easier for us.

Do you have any comments on the headline news recently about the suspension of a top Monaco player for a drug infraction?

Raging Bull, Nashville, Tenn.

I’m both upset and sad to hear that Geir Helgemo appears to have been punished for what was not a performance-enhancing drug, because the Olympic rules require it. Everyone who knows him would consider him a nice and sporting guy and one whose talent is truly undeniable.

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