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Published: Mon, January 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

Q. Vulnerable, you hold:
xK 9 8 5 3 2 uK 9 4 v8 4 w5 2
Partner opens the bidding with an artificial game force of two clubs. What do you respond?
A. Normally, to make a positive response you need at least a five-card suit headed by two of the three top honors. Here, however, your sixth spade and outside king are surely as good as the queen of spades, so we would make an exception and respond two spades.
Q. Both vulnerable, as South you hold:
S-K J 7 4 H-5 D-A 8 2 C-Q 6 5 3 2
The bidding has proceeded:
1w Pass 1x Pass
2u Pass ?
What do you bid now?
A. Partner's reverse shows a good hand, so you might need a lot of space to investigate possibilities. Bid three clubs. These days, that is not a signoff. You are setting the trump suit to allow the auction to proceed without fear that it will end short of game.
Q. Neither vulnerable, as South you hold:
xK 10 8 7 5 3 u7 5 vA 9 7 5 3 wVoid
The bidding has proceeded:
1u Pass 1x Pass
1NT Pass ?
What do you bid now?
A. We can think of any number of cute auctions, but most of them seem to confuse more than they clarify. In the long run, none of them seems to work any better than a jump rebid of four spades. Three spades would show a somewhat stronger and not so distributional a hand.
Q. Both vulnerable, as South you hold:
S-K Q 6 H-6 5 2 D-A Q J 5 4 3 C-6
The bidding has proceeded:
1v Pass 2w Pass
2v Pass 2x Pass
What do you bid now?
A. Don't let that good spade fragment lure you into doing something rash -- in spades your hand might produce few tricks for partner. You have just one story to tell. Keep telling it. Bid three diamonds.
Q. Vulnerable, you hold:
xA Q uK 3 vQ 10 5 wA J 8 7 4 2
What is your opening bid?
A. While a one-club opening bid seems automatic, what do you intend rebidding over almost any response by partner? Two clubs would be a drastic underbid and three clubs on such a porous suit is enough to turn the stomach. Open one no trump and, if you are ashamed to show that hand, put a club in with your hearts.
Q. Both vulnerable, you hold:
xA 10 9 2 u9 5 3 vA 6 2 wJ 10 3
Partner opens the bidding with one no trump (15-17). What do you respond?
A. Your two aces and good intermediates add a point or so to the value of your hand, making it a whit too strong for an invitational raise. Bid three no trump.
& copy; 2005 Tribune Media Services

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