Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.

Lord Byron


N North
E-W ♠ A 9 5 2
 3
 7 6 5 2
♣ A K Q 2
West East
♠ J 10 7 4
 Q 9
 K J 8 3
♣ 8 7 5
♠ K Q 8 3
 K 8 7 5
 Q 10 9
♣ 9 4
South
♠ 6
 A J 10 6 4 2
 A 4
♣ J 10 6 3
South West North East
    1 ♣ Pass
1 Pass 1 ♠ Pass
3 Pass 4 All pass
       

♠J

Today is our third themed deal of the week, in which we are looking for the most effective way to handle a suit where dummy has a singleton.

Unlike in chess, where thematic approaches tend to be relatively constant from game to game, in bridge it is often difficult, and sometimes nigh impossible, to extrapolate from one example to the next.

Here you declare four hearts on the lead of the spade jack. You win the trick with dummy’s ace and have to tackle the trumps to avoid losing more than two trump tricks.

In the absence of a vile side-suit break, you would appear to be home no matter what you do if trumps are 3-3, and virtually sunk if trumps are 5-1. What that means is that you should focus on how to negotiate 4-2 trumps. (Let us discount the deals where West has four trumps to two top honors since you will not be able to succeed in those instances.)

There are only two serious lines to consider: The first is leading to the jack, then following up with the ace. The second is leading to the ace, then leading out a low card. Cashing the ace and leading out the jack or 10 never gains and frequently loses.

Of the two lines, the first picks up six different positions where East has a four-card suit with both honors, but loses to eight lines where West has a doubleton honor. The second line is the mirror image of that, winning in the eight lines where the first fails, and losing to the six variations where the first succeeds.

So, the better line is to lead toward the ace (maybe East will err and split his honors), then lead low from hand.



Your hand is worth competing to three clubs. The question is whether you should simply raise to three clubs directly or wait to make the raise after the opponents settle in two hearts. These weak trumps and defensive values suggest delaying the raise — especially because you don’t really want a club lead unless your partner has a natural lead himself without your input.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 10 7 4
 Q 9
 K J 8 3
♣ 8 7 5
South West North East
  1 2 ♣ Dbl.
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

The sense of being well-dressed gives a feeling of tranquility which religion is powerless to bestow.

C.F. Forbes


S North
None ♠ A 7 4 2
 7
 A 8 4 3
♣ A K 10 2
West East
♠ Q J 9 5
 J 5
 K J 7 6 5
♣ 8 4
♠ K 10 8 6
 K 8 3 2
 Q 9
♣ Q 9 7
South
♠ 3
 A Q 10 9 6 4
 10 2
♣ J 6 5 3
South West North East
3 Pass 4 All pass
       

♠Q

The second of our weekly themed deals again features the art of maneuvering with a singleton trump facing length, when the key is to decide which finesse to take — if any — and why.

South upgrades his hand into a three-level pre-empt because of the vulnerability and his extra side-suit shape. North trustingly raises to game, and after a spade lead declarer can see that he may be home if clubs behave. If they don’t, he would like to play hearts for one loser. What is the best way to proceed?

We saw yesterday that with a singleton facing K-Q-10-x-x-x, we should lead to the 10. Our chances of success are clearly better today, given our better honors and intermediates.

If trumps are 3-3, it is a blind guess as to whether to lead to the 10 or the queen. King-third and jack-third to our right are equally likely. If East has a doubleton king or jack, you will capture it by finessing either the queen or the 10, then following up with the ace. What if West has the doubleton honor? You cannot succeed when he has the doubleton king, since even if you lead to the 10 initially, you still won’t be able to pick up East’s jack. The critical holding is the doubleton jack with West; you must lead to the queen, then follow up with the ace to drop the jack. In other words, all holdings but one cancel each other out, but an initial lead to the queen picks up one crucial holding not covered by leading to the 10.



Your hand isn’t suitable for a pre-emptive raise in that you have too much defense, and you aren’t close to having the values for a limit raise. What does that leave? A simple raise, maybe planning to compete to three spades, is possible. Or a jump cue-bid of three diamonds to show four trumps and 7-9 high-card points or so, also called a mixed raise, might be possible.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q J 9 5
 J 5
 K J 7 6 5
♣ 8 4
South West North East
  1 1 ♠ Dbl.
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 4th, 2019

Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.

Edward de Bono


S North
Both ♠ A 7 5 4
 6
 J 6 5
♣ A 9 7 6 4
West East
♠ J 8 2
 A 9 2
 Q 8 7 2
♣ J 5 3
♠ Q 10 9 3
 J 8 7
 K 10 4
♣ Q 10 8
South
♠ K 6
 K Q 10 5 4 3
 A 9 3
♣ K 2
South West North East
1 Pass 1 NT Pass
3 Pass 4 All pass
       

♠2

Over the next few months, I will present weekly sets of play deals that will each possess a certain similarity in theme. This week’s deals pose a problem for declarer with a singleton facing length. I may not always find a unified approach to all the problems within a set: Maybe the only wisdom to emerge will be that what makes bridge so difficult — and interesting — is that extrapolating from one example to the next is harder than it might appear.

In today’s deal, the South hand is difficult to describe at the second round of bidding. A call of two hearts would be an underbid, but his actual choice of three hearts is a slight overstatement (because of the weak trump spots).

After West leads a spade, declarer can see that he has two likely diamond losers and nowhere to discard them, since it seems too hard to set up the clubs and cash them for discards. Accordingly, South needs to play trumps for one loser if he can, and there is only one practical way to do it.

If declarer had two trumps in dummy, he would lead twice toward the king-queen and try to work out the best play on the second round. But with one trump facing a six-card suit, only one lie of the cards will see you home, and that is finding three trumps, including the jack, with East. So, declarer immediately leads to the 10. When it forces the ace and trumps break, declarer is home.

The winning defense against four hearts is repeated diamond leads, which will promote the heart nine for West.



Your target here might be to limit the number of tricks you blow on opening lead to one! Though there is spade length to your left, it still feels right to lead that suit (though a deceptive spade four or two is possible). Your spots are so bad that if partner has shortness, this lead may not cost anything, except to clear up a guess for declarer that he likely would have gotten right anyway.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 8 4 3 2
 J 6 4
 K 10 5
♣ J 7
South West North East
      1 NT
Pass 2 ♣ Pass 2
Pass 3 NT All pass  

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

I read a recent letter in your column talking about strong raises available to opener when he has four-card support for responder’s major. Other than the jump raises, what actions might you consider?

Waiting for Godot, Dodge City, Kan.

A jump raise to the three level suggests the equivalent of an unbalanced 15-17 high-card points; a jump to four suggests a balanced 18-19. With an unbalanced strong hand, a double jump in a new suit shows shortage in that suit and four-card support for partner. Occasionally, you can jump-shift, then jump in support of partner to show a really powerful three-suiter, but that would be rare indeed.

How often is it a critical mistake to cash an ace against a slam, as opposed to that being the necessary defense? And when, if ever, do you consider leading an unsupported ace in a suit that hasn’t been bid and supported, or bid by your partner?

Best Foot Forward, Midland, Mich.

I tend not to lead an ace against any contract unless the auction sounds so strong that I imagine my tricks may go away. The stronger my opponent’s sequence, the more likely it is that I will lead an ace (especially if they ask for aces and stop at the five-level). Trying to give partner a ruff in your long bid suit by leading the ace and another is often also a plausible defense.

Say you deal yourself ♠ K-9-3-2,  A-Q-3,  K-7-3-2, ♣ Q-10. If you open one diamond and hear a response of one heart, followed by an overcall to your right of one spade, what options would you consider sensible? If you pass and partner doubles, what do you do?

Ranking Member, Raleigh, N.C.

Some would double one spade to show precisely three-card support for partner’s major — a style I’m still not committed to, though I will play it if necessary. I have no problem with raising to two hearts, but if I pass and hear partner double — card-showing and more take-out than penalty — I would bid two hearts rather than one no-trump. Passing for penalty does not appeal to me.

I’m never sure when to pass out the double of a pre-empt. When you hear a double from your partner of an opening bid of three diamonds, and you are looking at ♠ K-J,  10-7-3-2,  Q-J-3, ♣ Q-J-10-3, would you settle for the part-score or bid game in hearts, or would you defend?

Jugular Jim, Greenville, S.C.

You ask a good question, but strangely (and somewhat amusingly), you’ve proposed three answers to your own question, and my answer would be “none of the above.” I’d opt for a call of three no-trump, looking at all those soft values outside the heart suit, and hoping I did not buy a singleton diamond, with left-hand opponent able to underlead the ace-king and set his suit up. I would not pass out the double without a sure trick (or two) on the side.

As responder to an opening bid of one diamond, is my call of four clubs asking for aces? If not, what does it show?

Gerber Baby, Dallas, Texas

Four clubs should rarely be played as ace-asking, other than in response to a one- or two no-trump opening or rebid. But specifically in response to a preempt, you can play four clubs as some form of ace ask. And after Stayman finds a major-suit, you can optionally use four clubs as ace-asking rather than as a splinter bid showing shortness and setting the major. In almost every other instance, the jump shows shortness and agrees partner’s suit, as in your example.


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Yogi Berra


W North
N-S ♠ K 4 2
 A Q 10 6
 A K 8
♣ Q 10 9
West East
♠ A J 7 6 3
 9 5
 Q 10 7
♣ A K 2
♠ 10 9 8
 8 3
 9 6 5 4
♣ J 8 7 5
South
♠ Q 5
 K J 7 4 2
 J 3 2
♣ 6 4 3
South West North East
  1 ♠ Dbl. Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
4 All pass    

♣K

It is easy to get carried away with hands like North’s, especially when your take-out double unearths a heart fit. But partner could have bid more than two hearts and did not do so. Even inviting game is not without risk, but when North makes a try, South is more than happy to advance.

Game is nothing special, since the chance of losing three clubs on the go is far from negligible. Also, you appear to have a spade and likely diamond loser to deal with. However, when the club king is led, followed by a trump shift, you can win with the ace, overtake the trump queen with your king, and play a second club.

West wins the club ace and does best to exit with a club to the queen. You take it, cash the diamond ace, lead the heart 10 to your jack and advance a low spade toward the king. This is a Morton’s Fork: If West plays the ace, you have the entries to pitch your diamond loser on the spades.

So West must play low, and you win the king and cash your last two trumps. In the three-card ending, you will play West to have started with five spades and three diamonds, but watch his discards carefully! If he pitches a diamond, you will know you can cash the diamond king and jack. If he comes down to a bare spade ace, you exit in spades and force him to lead away from the diamond queen.

This position is known as a strip-squeeze, and we will leave any jokes to be made on the table.



Slam is still technically in the offing, even though you may seem to be a long way off. Don’t tell your partner what he has — explore with a call of three clubs, and see if he shows any signs of life. What would excite you is a three-diamond call. You can then bid four diamonds and let partner know you have slam interest but no heart control.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A J 7 6 3
 9 5
 Q 10 7
♣ A K 2
South West North East
    1 Pass
1 ♠ 2 2 ♠ Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, February 1st, 2019

I bend and I break not.

Jean de la Fontaine


W North
Both ♠ 6 3
 A K 5
 A Q 4
♣ A Q 8 7 4
West East
♠ K Q J 9 4
 3
 9 7 5
♣ J 10 6 5
♠ 10 5
 Q 10 8 4 2
 J 8 6 2
♣ K 9
South
♠ A 8 7 2
 J 9 7 6
 K 10 3
♣ 3 2
South West North East
  2 ♠ * Dbl. Pass
3 * * Pass 4 All pass
       

*Five spades, plus a minor

**Constructive

♠K

One of the most difficult parts of the game is declaring the 4-3 fit, with trump control frequently a paramount issue. So it is rare when playing in a 4-3 fit that you want the outstanding trumps not to break.

However, when the late Alan Truscott (longtime bridge columnist of The New York Times) declared today’s deal, he needed to hope for precisely that.

In response to the double of two spades, Truscott’s three-heart call showed constructive values — with less, he would have bid two no-trump to show fewer than 7 high-card points. His wife, Dorothy, raised to four hearts, aware that it might be a 4-3 fit, but expecting it to be the most practical contract.

Truscott ducked the spade lead, won the next spade and lost the club finesse to East. He won the club return, then ruffed a club back to hand, as East discarded. Since West had at least nine cards in the black suits, Truscott needed West to have no more than one heart.

So, he cashed dummy’s heart king, then three rounds of diamonds, ending in dummy. In the four-card ending, declarer had just two trumps in both hand and dummy, while East had only hearts left. But when he played a club from dummy, East could take no more than his heart queen. If he ruffed low, South would over-ruff, trump a spade with the heart ace and play another club to score his last heart en passant. If East ruffed high, South would discard a spade and win the trump return in hand. Then he could score the trump jack and ace separately.



Your partner appears to have scattered values and at least five hearts. Is there any doubt as to what your final contract should be? I hope not! With your great trump support (in context) and source of tricks, game is highly unlikely to be worse than a finesse in one of the minors, which the auction tells you should work. So bid four hearts at once.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 6 3
 A K 5
 A Q 4
♣ A Q 8 7 4
South West North East
      1
Dbl. Pass 1 Pass
2 ♣ Pass 2 Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 31st, 2019

No treaty is ever an impediment to a cheat.

Sophocles


S North
Both ♠ K 6 3
 A Q 3
 10 9 5
♣ A Q J 7
West East
♠ J 10 8 5 2
 5
 J 7 6 3
♣ 10 6 4
♠ Q 9 4
 K 10 8 2
 Q 2
♣ 9 5 3 2
South
♠ A 7
 J 9 7 6 4
 A K 8 4
♣ K 8
South West North East
1 Pass 2 ♣ Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 NT Pass 6 NT All pass
       

♠J

In today’s deal, let’s look at how North-South should decide whether to play slam, and which contract to head to in a pairs event.

South hears his partner force to game, then support hearts. At his third turn, South can jump to three no-trump to show specifically a strong no-trump in values, plus a spade stopper. With less (or more), he can bid two no-trump, planning to move on with the extras over any signoff from North. North can then select the no-trump slam over hearts, since there is no ruff necessary in his hand.

After a spade lead against six no-trump, most declarers will lose the heart finesse to East, then win the return and cash the heart ace, finessing against East’s 10 and wrapping up 12 tricks. But what if East wasn’t born yesterday and ducks the first heart smoothly? South will probably continue with the heart ace and still emerge with 12 tricks.

Thus, East has to go the extra mile to coax South down the primrose path. He must drop the heart eight under the queen, suggesting that if anyone is long in hearts, it will be West. Be honest: Playing matchpoints as South, wouldn’t you cross back to hand to lead the heart jack, trying to pin East’s putative doubleton 10-8 of hearts? If you do, you will have turned 12 tricks into dust and ashes — and East will own you. Correct is to give up on the overtrick and run the heart nine at trick four, which guards against all possible bad breaks at the cost of the overtrick.



The problem with bidding three no-trump is that you have no tricks — but that will be the case in any contract. It may be right to temporize with a call of three diamonds and hope partner bids three no-trump. If he rebids clubs, you can raise to five, conscious that he may not be favored to succeed either way.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 9 4 2
 2
 Q J 3 2
♣ 9 5 3 2
South West North East
    1 Pass
1 ♠ Pass 3 ♣ Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

Life is one long struggle in the dark.

Lucretius


W North
None ♠ 7 5 3
 A 5
 K J 3 2
♣ A K J 3
West East
♠ 9
 K Q J 10 7 6 3 2
 8 6
♣ 8 6
♠ J 10 8 2
 8 4
 Q 10 9
♣ 10 7 4 2
South
♠ A K Q 6 4
 9
 A 7 5 4
♣ Q 9 5
South West North East
  4 Dbl. Pass
6 ♠ All pass    

K

In today’s deal from the annals of the Dyspeptics Club, North felt obligated to double four hearts for takeout, a reasonable action despite holding only three cards in the other major, over which South leapt ebulliently to slam. When dummy came down, South uttered the words no partner of his would ever want to hear: “Might have missed it, partner.”

He won the heart lead and drew three rounds of trumps, his natural optimism abating slightly when they failed to break. Then he could see nothing better than taking the diamond finesse, and his discomfiture was complete when the diamond queen was offside.

Before he could expostulate on his ill luck, North cut him short by remarking that if he had focused on the bad breaks instead of trying to make the overtrick, he might have emerged with less egg on his face. Do you see what he meant?

South should have ruffed a heart at the second trick. Then he could cash the three top spades and go after clubs. It wouldn’t have mattered if East had been able to ruff in, since he would have had nothing but diamonds left to lead into dummy’s tenace. If East didn’t ruff, then when declarer finished running clubs, he could cross to the diamond ace and exit in trump, throwing East in to lead diamonds and concede the contract.

The contract cannot be made if East starts with three hearts and the guarded diamond queen, since he can exit in hearts after ruffing a club.



The fact that your opponents have bid and raised clubs makes your hand better by suggesting shortness in clubs opposite, even if your partner may still have as many as three clubs. So, it is certainly worth a try for game, and bidding three diamonds will let your partner ascertain whether his cards are working.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K Q 6 4
 9
 A 7 5 4
♣ Q 9 5
South West North East
      1 ♣
1 ♠ 2 ♣ 2 ♠ Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

The years teach much which the days never know.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


S North
None ♠ A Q 10
 A 3 2
 K 9 8 4 2
♣ J 4
West East
♠ 7 5
 K 9 8 6 4
 A 6 5
♣ K 8 3
♠ J 6 4 3 2
 J 7
 Q 3
♣ 10 9 6 5
South
♠ K 9 8
 Q 10 5
 J 10 7
♣ A Q 7 2
South West North East
1 ♣ 1 2 Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All pass
       

6

Put yourself in declarer’s shoes, playing three no-trump as South, before I disclose the theme of today’s deal.

When West leads his long suit against South’s game, declarer should be able to see that the risk of taking the first trick and playing on diamonds is that East will get in with the diamond queen and lead back a heart. This establishes West’s long suit, while that player still has an entry in the form of the diamond ace. Indeed, that is exactly what will happen if South takes the first trick and leads the diamond jack around to East; but South does not have to allow this position to materialize.

The crux of the deal is that South should allow the heart jack to win the first trick, which has the effect of beginning to exhaust East of hearts. East can play a second heart, but South will take West’s heart king in dummy and play a spade to hand, then run the diamond jack.

East gets his diamond queen, but no longer has a heart to play. He shifts to a club, but South carefully hops up with the club ace and plays a second diamond. West can only score one further trick in each minor suit. That is four tricks for the defense — but declarer has his contract.

In a similar position, declarer might be able to tackle diamonds deceptively by leading the suit initially from dummy. (Switch the heart 10 and nine, and declarer might choose to approach the play in this way.)



Your opponent’s double does not really affect your call, except that it makes it sound as if your kings might be pulling their full weight. It is hard to do more than invite game with a call of three diamonds, but you are certainly full value for that action.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 7 5
 K 9 8 6 4
 A 6 5
♣ K 8 3
South West North East
    1 Dbl.
1 Pass 2 Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, January 28th, 2019

One will seldom go wrong to attribute extreme actions to vanity, moderate ones to habit and petty ones to fear.

Nietzsche


S North
None ♠ Q 9 4 3 2
 K J 3
 K 3
♣ 7 6 5
West East
♠ 10 6
 10 7 6 2
 A J 5
♣ J 9 8 2
♠ J 8
 A Q 9 4
 10 9 6 2
♣ Q 10 4
South
♠ A K 7 5
 8 5
 Q 8 7 4
♣ A K 3
South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 * Pass
3 ♠ Pass 4 ♠ All pass
       

*Transfer to spades

2

Schadenfreude, enjoying the discomfort of your friends and acquaintances, is a powerful emotion. It can be entertaining to be a fly on the wall when two teams are scoring up their match, particularly if you are watching friends of yours in the middle of trying to justify their losing efforts. It is not that you want your friends to fail, but you may not mind seeing them do less well than you.

In today’s deal, which came from a Spingold knockout match from a decade ago, I was sitting out for a set and took the opportunity to spectate at the table of some fellow Texans. After the set was over, the scoring-up started, and when it reached this deal my friends called out minus 50. “Lose 10 IMPs” came the riposte, and I could see my friends biting their tongues to keep from asking what had happened, until the scoring was complete.

But after the set was scored, one of them dropped an offhand comment about the deal, and his teammate asked him what had happened. “They led a heart to the jack and queen, and I lost another trick in each side-suit” came the response. “And at your table?”

His teammate replied, “I also led a heart, but declarer cleverly played low from dummy at trick one. He knew he could always finesse against the jack on the next round, but as it was, I had to guess who had the heart 10 at the first trick. When I got it wrong and put up the queen, the hearts played for a discard for the slow club loser.”



Leading from a doubleton heart certainly doesn’t seem right: Partner is unlikely to have enough in the suit. But since a club would be a wild gamble if dummy has at least five, I’d take my shot on finding partner with a high diamond (or the jack) and kick off with the diamond 10.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ J 6 3 2
 J 3
 Q 10 9 2
♣ J 7 5
South West North East
  1 ♣ Pass 1 ♠
Pass 2 Pass 3 NT
All pass      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

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