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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bobby Wolff United Feature Syndicate

Dear Mr. Wolff: Dealer opens with a strong no-trump, and the next player doubles for penalties. Are Stayman and Jacoby Transfers still on? Presumably with, say, seven or more points, next bidder should redouble into game. If so, what does next bidder do to save the situation? – No Clue at No-Trump, Durango, Colo.

Answer: This is a matter of partnership agreement, not of right or wrong. I suggest you play redouble as strong, while transfers and Stayman are still on by the partner of the no-trump bidder. But the partner of the doubler uses natural bids if he wants to run.

Dear Mr. Wolff: You hold ♠ Q-7-3, ♥ 9-5-2, ♦ K-Q-7, ♣ K-10-8-3. What should you respond to a natural one-club opening? Would it matter if you play inverted minor raises? – When in Doubt, Naples, Fla.

Answer: Whether you play inverted minors or not, this hand does not look ideal for a raise to two clubs, since partner might have only three clubs. Respond one no-trump and do not worry excessively about your weak hearts. If the suit is in danger, you may yet hear from the opponents, or partner may bid again.

Dear Mr. Wolff: I often find a situation in which one player misbids because he has not seen or remembered the auction properly. His partner explains what he should have (but not, of course, what he does have). Is the culprit obliged to correct the explanation? – Spaced Out, Palm Springs, Calif.

Answer: In situations of this sort you are obliged to tell your opponents only what your partnership agreements are. So if you overcall two no-trump, unusual, because you missed the opening bid, and actually have 21 points, your opponents are entitled only to know that you have shown the minors.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Holding ♠ Q-10-8-3, ♥ A, ♦ K-5-2, ♣ A-J-10-7-3, I opened one club and heard one heart on my left. After partner bids two diamonds, what should I do now? – We Wuz Robbed, Wichita Falls, Kan.

Answer: I’d bid two spades. I’m going to go to game here and will raise diamonds later. Three diamonds would be my call with a queen less – or make the heart ace the king. I assume we play negative doubles, so I’m not bidding spades to hope to play there, but more to show my shape. I have not ruled out trying for slam further down the road … maybe.

Dear Mr. Wolff: Can you tell me what the rules are about alerting your own calls and your partner’s bids? Should you alert a call if you are not sure if it is conventional? – Officer Krupke, St. John’s, Newfoundland

Answer: When your partner makes a conventional call, you say “Alert” and indicate that the bid is conventional by using the Alert card from the bidding box (if you have one). You do not need to do more; your opponent, when it is his turn to speak, can ask if he wants to know. You alert your partner’s calls, not your own, and it is better to alert if you think it may be required than to find out too late that you should have done so.

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