Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Honest criticism is hard to take, particularly from a relative, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger.

Franklin P. Jones


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

*Two keycards and the trump queen

2

The first board of the 2015 Tromso Mixed Teams saw Roy Welland drive his partner Sabine Auken to a delicate slam, and let her try to make it. I have simplified their auction. In real life a club lead would have defeated the contract, but that was not obvious to anyone during the bidding.

In six hearts Auken received the lead of the diamond five, which went to the three, the queen and her ace. She then played a heart to dummy’s jack and East’s ace. That player now returned another diamond, though even at this point a club return to dummy’s ace might still set the contract, since declarer does not yet know about the 4-1 trump split.

Anyway, after the diamond return Sabine won with the king and continued with the heart king. When East showed out, she could now continue with a club to the ace to take the heart finesse. When declarer then played off all her trumps, West was squeezed in three suits. That meant 12 tricks to declarer and 11 IMPs to Welland’s team, since his teammates defended game in the other room.

Incidentally, that declarer also received a diamond lead. His next move was to play the heart queen from hand. Now if East wins this, the heart jack is the entry for the trump finesse. If East ducks the ace, a low heart to dummy’s jack will reveal the trump split while the club ace is still in dummy as the entry to take the trump finesse and execute the same squeeze.


This sort of hand provokes considerable discussion: should you rebid two clubs, to show your basic shape, or should you bid one no-trump to limit your hand as a balanced 12-14? Either approach is basically acceptable, given how good your doubleton diamond is. Were that not so, the two club rebid would be preferable. Even as it is, I prefer to bid the second suit here.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 2
 K Q 9 6 3
 A K
♣ J 9 6 4
South West North East
1 Pass 1 ♠ 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.

Walter Scott


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

♠5

At Tromso last summer in the EBL Open Mixed Teams, Katrine Bertheau for the Casino Floor team found a pretty defense against her opponent’s four heart contract.

Bertheau led a spade to West’s ace and a second spade went round to the jack. Bertheau now played a third round of spades, forcing declarer to ruff in hand, in an attempt to gain control over the trump suit.

Declarer next played a diamond to the king and ran the heart queen. Bertheau correctly ducked, continuing her accurate defense, since if she had won and played a fourth spade, declarer could have ruffed in dummy to retain trump control. Declarer would have been entitled to relax when the first trump finesse succeeded, but his hopes were dashed when he continued with the heart 10 and Bertheau won to play a fourth round of spades. Since declarer was now forced to ruff in hand, West had wrested trump control from him, and established the setting trick.

That might had been a great IMP swing if Bertheau’s teammates had managed to make a game at the other table. But declarer stood no chance of making his five club contract when the heart king was offside. With spades 4-4, three no-trump was the only making game today.

For the record, it would have been possible to make four hearts on any lead with the sight of all four hands, if declarer could have avoided finessing hearts. The winning line is to cross-ruff and endplay West in trumps. But no one would find this at the table.


Your RHO appears to have opened light, given that he has passed out his partner’s response. Does that mean you should bid again? Far from it. Yes you have a sixth club, but you have no extra values, and your partner heard you overcall and didn’t act. You have no reason to assume he was asleep on the job and your spade suit strongly argues for caution. Sit back and defend two spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 3 2
 Q 10
 K 2
♣ A Q J 8 7 5
South West North East
  Pass Pass 1
2 ♣ 2 ♠ Pass 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them.

Andrew V. Mason


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

*Hearts and a minor

2

At Tromso in the European Open last summer Barry Myers found a very nice play to bring home his slam here. Look just at the North and South cards first before seeing the whole story.

Myers sat South and East’s two heart call showed hearts and a minor, the four heart call presumably showing a combination of an optimistic temperament, extra shape, or a misreading of the vulnerability. North-South actually come closer to making four hearts than their opponents, after a trump lead. But now is not the moment to worry about that. How do you play six spades after a diamond lead?

Myers correctly identified the lead as a singleton, but nonetheless finessed at trick one. Back came a diamond at trick two. Myers ruffed high as West pitched a club. Then he sneaked the club jack past his LHO, pitching a heart from dummy. Next he cashed the club ace to pitch a second heart from dummy. He advanced the spade nine, and when West ducked, he let it run. Then he crossed to the heart ace to ruff another diamond high, finessed the spade eight and claimed after drawing trump.

Had South covered the spade nine, Myers would have ruffed the diamond high and subsequently finessed the trump six to bring home his slam. At the critical moment East was known to hold 1-5-5-2 distribution, so there would have been no guesswork involved.

The critical defensive error was West’s in not covering the club jack, which would have left declarer far too much work to do.


It may seem logical that since you could bid one spade here, you should be able to jump to two spades to show extras. In fact that action would be an underbid (a bid of two spades might be this hand with a 4=2=3=4 pattern rather than a hand of power and quality like this). Jump to three spades to show a hand with real extra shape and high cards.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A Q 9 2
 7 3
 J
♣ A Q J 8 6 3
South West North East
1 ♣ 1 Dbl. 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, July 11th, 2016

There’s no sense in being precise when you don’t even know what you’re talking about.

John von Neumann


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

*A raise to four spades with a side shortage

6

All this week’s deals come from last year’s European Open event in Tromso, Norway. Today’s deal may have the appearance of a routine four spades, but the defense led a diamond to the ace for a club shift to the king, followed by a second club. Now everything depends on the way declarer tackles the hearts after drawing trump and eliminating the minors.

There are two sensible lines: both leading the heart ace followed by a small heart, or running dummy’s heart jack initially would work here, so you might wonder why bringing home the game was worth as much as two thirds of the matchpoints. The answer is that declarer has a perfectly decent alternative line of playing for the heart king-queen to be together by tackling hearts by leading low from hand toward the 10, hoping to endplay one opponent or the other.

How to decide? If your opponents lead the diamond six to the first trick, playing 3rd/5th leads, you can build up a clear picture at the critical moment of West as 1-4-4-4 pattern. His play in clubs, diamonds and spades will strongly suggest his actual pattern. That being so, playing for a doubleton honor must be right, since West might well have led from heart king-queen at trick one.

In turn, that might encourage you as West the next time round to return the club nine at trick three. If partner isn’t ruffing the second club, your spots are irrelevant for trick-taking, but not for misleading declarer about the count on the hand.


You have four unattractive options to lead from. But East has suggested he needed help in clubs and West could not deliver the goods. My best guess would be that partner is heavy favorite to have something in this suit, so with nothing else to go on, I’ll settle for leading a club.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ J 7 3
 J 4
 J 8 6 3
♣ Q 9 7 2
South West North East
    Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 3 ♣
Pass 3 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Can you comment on the best method to use after your partner doubles a minor suit, and the next hand redoubles? The problem I had was what to do with five spades and nine points. Normally I would jump to two spades, but I have been told that after a redouble this would be more about shape than high cards. Any comments?

Scooping the Pool, Muncie, Ind.

You are correct in assuming that after the redouble a jump is more commonly played these days as a long suit but in the range 5-9. With a better hand, pass initially and bid or jump later. So pass and plan to back in to show real values.

I am puzzled by the situation where one player misbids because he has forgotten the meaning of a bid, or has not seen or remembered the auction properly. His partner explains what he should have – which will not coincide with his actual holding. Is the culprit obliged to correct the explanation?

Mea Culpa, Albuquerque, N.M.

In situations of this sort you are only obliged to tell your opponents 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 only entitled to know that your call shows the minors.

You recently wrote about Maximal Doubles, where when your side has agreed a fit and the opponents compete to one under your side’s trump fit, double is an unspecified game-try. But could you clarify whether after such a double your partner is obliged to take it out? Or could the double be left in with either a balanced hand or trump tricks? If so, should the double show extra high cards not shape?

Clearing Up, Grand Junction, Colo.

You have it exactly right; the double can be passed, though it rarely is. Let’s say you bid and raise spades, they compete in hearts. A double by you would be more about points than shape, so if you simply have extra shape, bid three or four spades.

Can you tell me what you would do with the following hand? Holding ♠ Q-9-6-3, A, K-J-2, ♣ A-10-7-6-3, I opened one club and heard one heart on my left, over which my partner bid two diamonds; what should I do next?

Second Hand Rose, Los Angeles, Calif.

I would bid two spades now. 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.

I understand Bergen Raises have somewhat fallen out of favor. What is the primary reason for that? What are the preferred ways for responder to bid hands with four trumps that range in strength from weak to invitational?

Mike the Martian, Clarksburg, Md.

Bergen Raises may help determine the best contract for the opening side, but the artificial call lets the opponents double, or even intervene with more confidence because they know their side has a fit too. And you lose the natural three-level calls, while risking getting higher than you need. The idea of using the three-level bids as intermediate hands with three or four trump, with the jump raise as mixed (6-9 maybe) would be a reasonable compromise, perhaps.


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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Sometimes, people trying to commit suicide manage it in a manner that leaves them breathless with astonishment.

Salman Rushdie


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

♣4

South’s jump rebid promises a balanced distribution and 18-19 HCP. North should not hesitate to carry on to game opposite these values, but his honor location strongly suggests no-trump – played by his partner – will be more sensible than a possible 5-3 spade fit played his way up, on a club or heart lead through the South hand.

When South wins the first club lead, he can count a total of eight tricks. If he tries to set up his ninth winner in spades or hearts, he will have to give up one trick in that suit and may then lose four clubs as well.

The best line of play here is to give up a club and let the opponents their tricks. If they do, a squeeze may develop; and if they fail to take their tricks immediately, they may not get a second chance. And if clubs are 4-3 you can always revert to ducking a spade.

South therefore leads back a club, and allows West to cash out his long suit. Declarer prepares to save spade length in the dummy and heart length in his own hand. If either opponent has the only stopper in both suits, he will be squeezed, as will be the case today.

As the cards lie, it will not do West any good to shift at trick three. Declarer sets up spades, keeping West off lead, and has his contract.

And yes, four spades by North can make after any lead but a club. I leave the details to the reader!


If your partner cannot break the transfer, do you really have enough to try for game? I say no. You would need to have stronger spade spots, or better honor structure than your actual hand. While you might make game facing the right maximum, the odds are heavily against it.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 9 6 3 2
 6 5 2
 K Q
♣ 8 5 3
South West North East
  Pass 1 NT 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 8th, 2016

No question is so difficult to answer as that to which the answer is obvious.

G. B. Shaw


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

K

As East you see your partner lead the diamond king then play the diamond seven to your ace, declarer following with the nine and five. What now?

Declarer surely has solid hearts, but maybe it is just possible for partner to have a club honor. Could he have the king and have returned what looks like a high diamond? The question as to whether this is a suit-preference position or a count position may be dependent on individual partnerships. West can be fairly sure his partner has three or more diamonds, or he would overtake the first diamond.

But there really doesn’t seem room for declarer not to have the club king or he would have opened four hearts – wouldn’t he?

The point is that if you play a club now and partner has the queen, declarer is even money to guess right. But try playing a spade, a defense that wins whenever partner has a doubleton spade and either the heart jack or the club king. It still leaves declarer with a guess as to what to do, if missing the ace-queen of clubs.

What is more, declarer’s communications are now decisively cut, since you have prevented him from drawing trump and running the spades. He can cash two spades safely, of course, but then if he plays a third spade, your partner will be able to ruff in. Equally, of course, if he plays a club instead, you rise with the ace and play a third spade, promoting partner’s heart jack into the setting trick.


Your quick tricks are enough to invite slam. A quantitative jump to four no-trump gets your values across nicely. Alternatively, you could bid four clubs – natural and not Gerber. The advantage of this route is that you can stop in four spades, but your skewed honor structure might get you to six clubs with a feeble trump suit. Switch the queen of spades into your club suit and I’d bid four clubs.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K Q 7 4
 9 4
 5 2
♣ J 9 8 4
South West North East
  Pass 2 NT Pass
3 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 7th, 2016

You don’t need to know all the answers. No one is smart enough to ask you all the questions.

Anonymous


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

♣J

How much should a vulnerable preempt deliver? I prefer intermediate jumps when at unfavorable vulnerability, and my vulnerable double jumps are typically better than an opening preempt. On that basis, both South’s three heart overcall and North’s raise were at the aggressive end of the spectrum.

How would you play four hearts on the lead of the club jack? First things first: it is important to duck at trick one. This helps to preserve your entries and keep control. West now needs to switch to a trump to prevent you ruffing a club in dummy (which he may not find it so easy to do from, say, Q-x-x).

However, this time East takes his partner off the hook by overtaking with the club queen, and does find the trump switch. It is disappointing to see West show out on the second round of trump.

East’s defense so far has strongly suggested the diamond finesse will lose, so it looks best to play a diamond to the ace and ruff a diamond. Now exit with a trump from hand, and East wins and plays back a club to dummy’s ace. When you cash the diamond queen, discarding your last club, East ruffs in, and has only black suits left. You should not misguess on a spade return (East would not jeopardize his sure trick), and on a club return, you ruff and run all your trump, squeezing West in spades and diamonds. To keep diamonds guarded he must bare his spade king, and now your spade loser vanishes.


Although you may be turning a plus score into a minus score, this hand feels like it is worth a jump to three diamonds, an invitational sequence suggesting this general pattern. Your partner will be able to judge that a fitting diamond card is going to be very useful for three no-trump to have any practical play.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 10 9 5
 5
 A Q 10 9 6 3
♣ A 7
South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
1 ♠ Pass 1 NT 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Routine, in an intelligent man, is a sign of ambition.

W. H. Auden


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

♠Q

The main difference between pairs and teams is that at teams or rubber bridge you always try to make your contract, or defeat the opponents, without worrying too much about overtricks or undertricks — if the contract isn’t doubled.

South forgot that instruction when he declared four hearts. West led the spade queen, and East did well to withhold the ace. Declarer won with the king, played the diamond seven to dummy’s jack, then called for the heart jack. East rose with the ace, as the bad trump break came to light, and returned a diamond. Now he could put his partner in with a spade for a diamond ruff, and that was the setting trick.

In the other room, after the same start, South appreciated that he could afford to lose two trump tricks and a spade. So at trick two he led a low heart from hand. The jack lost to the queen, but now declarer was a tempo ahead. He won the club switch in hand and continued with another low heart, to the 10 and ace. After winning the club continuation he was able to enter dummy in diamonds to finesse the heart eight successfully, then cash the king. Had the defenders shifted to diamonds at trick three, declarer would have won in hand and remained a tempo ahead in the race to draw trump.

Even if West had held the four trumps, the second declarer would have been home, whereas leading the jack from dummy would immediately have been fatal.


A simple raise to two hearts would show real extras in an uncontested auction, so a jump to three hearts should suggest something like a 20-count (give or take a little for additional distributional values). You may not have much, but your cards seem to be working as well as you could expect. So raise to four hearts – assuming you trust your partner.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 4
 J 10 4 2
 K J 6 5
♣ 10 7 3
South West North East
Pass 1 ♣ Dbl. 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.

Jim Rohn


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

*Three key cards

♣9

Today’s deal sees South open one diamond then reverse into hearts, thus forcing any preference to diamonds to come at the three-level. This is the essence of a reverse and it guarantees a king more than a minimum opener, plus at least 4-5 shape.

North can produce a forcing raise of hearts, then use keycard and explore for a grand slam before reluctantly giving up at six.

After a top club lead by West, South can see that the side suits will provide five tricks in aces and kings. The slam will be safe if declarer can win seven trump tricks.

The safest play for the contract is to ruff once in each hand with a low trump and then continue the cross-ruff with high trumps. South should cash the side winners first, then execute the cross-ruff as planned.

So win the club king, unblock diamonds, cross to the club ace and cash the diamond ace to pitch the club jack. Then play ace and ruff a spade low, and ruff a club low (unless you have seen both the queen and 10 appear from East!). Once the low ruffs stand up, crossruff high. At trick 12, South will not care about a possible over-ruff, for he is bound to make one of the last two tricks.

If declarer had ruffed with a low trump after trick seven, he would have risked an early overruff. The defender would then return a trump, and defeat the slam.

The peril may be slight, but why endanger a slam for a possible overtrick?


You should consider making a try for game, but it would be a mistake to repeat the spades, since your side almost surely has only a 5-2 fit. The spade 10 is enough to persuade me to invite with a call of two no-trump, an invitation suggesting extras in a 5-4-2-2 pattern. Without that card, I’d pass two spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A Q 10 6 2
 A Q 7 6
 K
♣ J 7 4
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 1 NT 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

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