Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, November 7th, 2014

I leave this rule for others when I'm dead,
Be always sure you’re right – then go ahead.

David Crockett


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

♠7

You will be faced with a series of problems as East today. After the auction starts with South opening one diamond and North responding one heart, there are many players who would feel obligated to act. But despite your quick tricks, you have sterile distribution and no reason not to assume that you are outgunned on the deal.

So you pass, perhaps planning to re-enter the auction if the opportunity presents itself. Instead, you hear South jump to two no-trumps and North raise to game. Your partner leads the spade seven. You play fourth highest leads, but also second from four small and you may also lead top of three small. Declarer plays low from dummy and it is up to you to decide what to do now, and how to plan the defense.

Partner has almost a bust — but there is just about room for him to hold a heart honor such as the queen. Your best chance is to try to deny dummy an entry, so play the spade nine at trick one. Declarer can still succeed by playing on hearts, since the spades are blocked. But he does not know that.

Since he cannot see through the cards, he is likely to try to get to dummy with the club queen in order to take a diamond finesse. If you can stop him from doing this by winning the club ace and clearing the spades, then shifting to hearts, you will defeat three no-trumps.


The choices here are to pass, which might freeze your side out of the auction for good, or to double, since you cannot really overcall one no-trump with the wrong high-card values and such a feeble club stopper. If I advocate a double, my readers might leave in droves — but in my heart I believe that this might be our best way to compete at relatively little risk.

BID WITH THE ACES

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

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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

The children of men are deceitful upon the weights;
They are altogether lighter than vanity itself.

Prayer Book


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

♣K

Deception is an important part of the game. This is easier to attempt when you are declarer than when you are a defender, because in the latter case there is always the danger that partner may be the one deceived. However, opportunities for defensive deception do crop up from time to time.

Put yourself in declarer’s shoes in four spades, when West leads a top club and East contributes the three, showing no interest. West continues with a second top club on which East plays the jack — a suit-preference signal for a heart. West now switches to the heart four. What would you do as declarer?

There are two possible lines of play: You can play low on the heart, hoping West has led away from the king, or you can rise with the heart ace, cash the spade ace-king and the diamond king-queen, and then cross to dummy with the club queen (presumably if East had been ruffing the third club, West would have continued with another club at trick three), in the hopes that the diamond jack would fall, giving you two heart discards.

It is all a question of who you are playing against. In truth, though, the odds of the first line are significantly better than the second line since you can also cope with some bad trump breaks. So unless I was convinced that East was a very honest fellow, I would prefer the first line; but I would congratulate East for doing his best to deceive me.


Here your hand appears to be relatively suitable for defense, but I would still advocate raising to three spades pre-emptively because it makes your LHO's task so much harder. You may tempt him into indiscretion — and after all, how is he to know you have this hand and not one weaker by an ace and a king? Bidding may lead to a small loss, but it may also lead to a large gain.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 7 4
 K 7 6 4
 8 6 4
♣ A K 2
South West North East
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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Big doors swing on little hinges.

W. Clement Stone


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

*Three-card spade support

♣5

In today's heart game the Polish declarer in an International match won the club lead and immediately played a heart to the ace and another heart. East won her king and played a second club, ruffed in hand. Declarer now led a spade to dummy's 10 and East's jack. Back came a spade, but West withheld her king, of course. Now declarer could discard only one diamond from her hand. She had to broach diamonds herself, and inevitably lost two tricks in the suit for one down.

In truth, this was an uninspired effort. Declarer should win the club ace and ruff a club at trick two. Now when she plays ace and another heart, East would be endplayed. If she plays a spade, declarer has no losers in that suit and can afford two diamond losers. If East plays a diamond, declarer makes three tricks in that suit and loses only the ace. Giving her a ruff and discard makes things very easy for South.

This swing turned out to be especially important, since the North-South pair in the other room had defended three clubs for two down, when South had not thought her hand worth an overcall at adverse vulnerability. Accordingly, it turned out to be a sizeable pick-up in one direction, instead of the swing going the other way, had the game been brought home.

Incidentally, would you have overcalled as South? I think you have to bid. Too dangerous is no excuse…


It is important to distinguish between a responsive and a penalty double. In this auction, where the opponents have not agreed on a suit, the double of one heart is for penalty, showing hearts (typically at least three hearts, more commonly four). But when the opponents bid and raise a suit around a double, your partner's double is for takeout. As it is, you should pass now and await developments.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A Q 10 9
 10 9 8 7
 K 9 7
♣ A 4
South West North East
1♣
Dbl. 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

Jonathan Swift


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

♣J

In today's deal North gambled that his side was not missing the two top hearts — or that the defenders would not cash them if they had them. His jump to five no-trumps was an effort to get to diamonds if his partner had a good four-card suit or five diamonds, since North could see that a spade slam might require a decent trump break if South had honor-third of spades. Meanwhile, from South's perspective he knew his diamonds were good, but was not sure if his partner had the spade queen.

Against six diamonds the lead of the club jack left South contemplating safety plays in the trump suit, such as cashing the ace, or even taking both top trumps, then playing a crossruff. He won the club ace and led a low diamond from dummy, and when the queen appeared, a different conundrum presented itself. If West had four trumps, it might be difficult to take two club ruffs in dummy and retain an entry to the spades. South found the answer when he ducked the diamond queen. He won the heart shift in hand and ruffed a club, came to the diamond ace and ruffed a second club, then used the spade king as his entry to hand to draw trumps, discarding dummy’s heart losers.

He ended up scoring five spades, three trumps, two aces, and two ruffs for his 12 tricks. And note that with the heart finesse losing and diamonds not behaving, the odds are stacked against declarer in six spades.


You can set up a game-forcing auction with a call of three clubs, and support hearts later, or jump in hearts directly. A call of three hearts would suggest invitational values, so you should do more than that. But is a call of four hearts enough? I say yes — the singleton club ace is not pulling its full weight here. Give me a small singleton club and ace-fourth of diamonds, and I would do more.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A Q 7 4 2
 Q 7 2
 7 6 3 2
♣ A
South West North East
Pass 1 Pass
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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, November 3rd, 2014

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced or cried aloud:
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody but unbowed.

W. E. Henley


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

K

The old ways were not always the best ways, but it is undeniable that it was far easier for South to reach slam on today's deal by opening a strong two than it would have been had he opened one spade and jumped to three hearts. Meanwhile one must also give North credit for cooperating in the slam venture with only three trumps, a move that might not have worked out as well as it did had South had less robust trumps.

Against six hearts, West led the diamond king. You may care to plan the play and see if you can do as well as the declarer at the table did. The point of the deal is that slam is easy to make if spades break 3-3, and you are also well placed if it is East with spade length. But you can improve on your basic chances by a spot of jiu-jitsu.

Win the diamond ace and play ace, king and another spade. If West discards or ruffs in you should be able to maneuver to take two ruffs in dummy – whether it is two spades or one spade and one diamond. But when West follows to the third spade, you must take care to discard dummy’s diamond. You can win the trump return in hand and ruff a diamond low, play the club ace and ruff a club, then later ruff a spade high in the dummy and come back to hand with another club ruff to draw trump and take the 13th trick with your long spade.


When leading into a strong hand, you should first try to decide whether there is any need to go active or whether you should go passive. Dummy rates to have four trumps and some shape, but your hand does not suggest that declarer will be able to establish a side-suit in dummy easily. That being so I'd lead a trump. Without the club jack I might feel more inclined to press my luck with a heart lead.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 7 2
 Q 9 4 3
 J 7 6 2
♣ A J 9
South West North East
Pass Pass 1 NT
Pass 2♣ Pass 2♠
Pass 4♠ 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Is there a right way or a wrong way to tackle a suit such as A-J-4-2 in dummy facing K-10-3 in hand for four tricks? What if you know your RHO has at most two cards in the suit?

Find the Lady, Staten Island, N.Y.

With no special information, and assuming no communication problems, lead out the ace or king, then lead a low card towards the other honor, and finesse. You might think that if you need four tricks in the suit and your RHO is short that you should lead low to the jack, or run the 10 from hand, playing the hand with length for the queen; not so. Your only legitimate chance of four tricks is to find your RHO with the bare queen or doubleton queen, so lead low to the 10 in your hand.

My RHO was second to speak with: ♠ J-3,  A-5-4-3-2,  Q-5-3, ♣ K-10-4. He passed, and heard his partner overcall one heart over one club. He simply raised to two hearts, and it made on the button. I thought the hand was worth more than that, but he said he discounted the club king. What do you think?

Undervalued, Sunbury, Pa.

Your opponent was both pessimistic and more than a little fortunate. These days after a third in hand opening bid the location of the club king is entirely undefined, and with five-card support many would cuebid two clubs to show a strong raise — and would then certainly consider going to the three-level voluntarily.

After opener rebids one no-trump, what is your opinion about responder having a conventional continuation, such as using the New Minor as a forcing bid? In other words after an unopposed sequence one diamond – one spade – one no-trump, do you advocate using two clubs as a forcing bid, unrelated to clubs?

Inspector Gadget, Augusta, Maine

This is a relatively advanced idea, however, once you adopt it, this is one of the conventions that you will find it hard to do without. It may not be absolutely essential, but you will find it simplifies your constructive bidding to put all forcing hands through the New Minor, and to invite with a jump.

I picked up the following minimum opening bid: ♠ Q-2,  J-8-6,  K-Q-9-7-4-3, ♣ A-3. I opened one diamond and rebid two diamonds over my partner's one spade response. He now bid two hearts; I was not sure if that was forcing and if so what I should bid. Any thoughts?

In a Fog, Columbia, S.C.

New suits by responder at his second turn are almost always forcing (by contrast, a limit bid in his suit, your suit, or in no-trump can be passed). Your partner's call shows at least invitational values, looking for support for his suits or to reach no-trump facing a stopper in the fourth suit. Since you denied primary spade support at your second turn, your honor-doubleton is sufficient to give partner preference now. No-trumps can follow at your next turn — if there is one.

As dealer at favorable vulnerability I passed, and my partner opened one club in third seat, which was doubled on my right. I held ♠ 10-5-3-2,  Q-6-4-3,  K-10, ♣ J-5-3. I bid one heart, then passed my partner's one spade call, to his evident displeasure, though he made only nine tricks when holding an 18-count and four-four in the black-suits, with three-card heart support. Should either of us have done more, notwithstanding our good result?

Grounds for Appeal, Durham, N.C.

There speaks a true perfectionist. With 18 HCP, you have the choice of one spade, two spades, or two no-trump, depending on the quality of the spades, the controls, and the guard in the fourth suit. I would not jump rebid two spades without three hearts and good controls here. Regardless, with your actual hand, a pass stands out over one spade.


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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Protection is not a principle but an expedient.

Benjamin Disraeli


South North
Neither ♠ A 8 6
 10 8 2
 J 6 4 2
♣ 9 8 4
West East
♠ K J 10 7
 J 9 5
 A 5
♣ J 7 6 3
♠ Q 9 5
 4 3
 K Q 10 9 8 3
♣ 10 2
South
♠ 4 3 2
 A K Q 7 6
 7
♣ A K Q 5
South West North East
1 Pass Pass 2
3♣ 3 4 All pass

A

Would you balance here as East over one heart? Doing so is fraught with danger. Though partner is marked with some values, he has not overcalled, so the opponents rate to be able to outbid you, and you just might push them into a makeable game.

However, one intrepid East bid two diamonds; South showed a good hand with clubs and hearts (yes, doubling for take-out was a sensible option) and now North re-assessed his hand and jumped to game.

West led and continued diamonds, and South ruffed and cashed the heart ace and king. Then he set about clubs, ruffing the fourth in dummy, while East discarded two diamonds. Any attempt to ruff a diamond back to hand to draw the last trump was likely to be overruffed by West, but South found a neat solution. He led a diamond from dummy, and discarded a spade. East led his last diamond, and again declarer threw a spade. Fresh out of other suits, East was forced to return a spade, which South won with dummy’s ace, then ruffed a spade back to hand and drew the last trump.

East, it proved, was doubly wrong. First in re-opening and pushing North-South to a game they would not otherwise have reached; and second by failing to defeat it. Suppose that he discards one diamond and one spade on the clubs. Then, if the play goes as before, he has a fifth diamond to play, and West’s heart jack is promoted for the setting trick.


It bears repeating that after the double of a major suit, a jump to two no-trump should be a high-card limit raise, so that the double raise shows a preemptive raise. This convention, named after Bobby Jordan or Alan Truscott, depending on whom you ask, is efficient because no natural meaning is needed for the two no-trump call after a double. Redouble usually shows a maximum pass without spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 10 7
 J 9 5
 A 5
♣ J 7 6 3
South West North East
Pass Pass 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, October 31st, 2014

Success requires enough optimism to provide hope and enough pessimism to prevent complacency.

David G. Myers


East North
Neither ♠ A 8 5
 6 4 3
 J 9
♣ A K Q J 6
West East
♠ Q 9 7 6 3
 9 8 2
 3
♣ 10 9 8 2
♠ —
 A Q J 10 5
 K Q 8 5 4 2
♣ 7 4
South
♠ K J 10 4 2
 K 7
 A 10 7 6
♣ 5 3
South West North East
1
1♠ Pass 2 3
3♠ Pass 4♠ Pass
Pass Dbl. All pass  

3

In today's cautionary tale a correspondent wrote to me to say that sometimes in a teams match you may think you have done well on a particular board but overlook the problems your teammates may have had in the other room. South was pleased with his result in the following deal … until it was scored-up!

Against four spades West led her singleton diamond, which declarer won. She then ran the spade jack, which held (as the cards lay, it would not have helped West to cover). She followed this with four rounds of clubs, discarding both hearts from hand. Then she ruffed a heart and played a diamond. West discarded a heart and East won with the king. In the five-card ending it did not matter whether East played a diamond or a heart.

At the table she played the diamond five. Declarer inserted the seven, West ruffed in with the nine and dummy overruffed. Declarer then ruffed another heart to hand and played his last diamond. Whether West ruffed in with the queen or ruffed low, South had to make two more tricks.

Contract made, but at the other table, East opened one diamond, South overcalled one spade and North raised straight to four spades. How could East not take another bid? She bid four no-trump to show her two-suiter, correcting five clubs to five diamonds. West ended up conceding 1100 in five hearts doubled, and my correspondent finished up losing heavily on the board.


Whether or not one plays a new suit as forcing in response to a one-level overcall, one should play new suits by an unpassed hand as forcing in response to a two-level overcall, or in response to partner's overcall of a pre-emptive opening bid. Otherwise, it is impossible to bid constructively in positions like this, where a simple response of three spades keeps all the options open.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 10 4 2
 K 7
 A 10 7 6
♣ 5 3
South West North East
3♣ 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 30th, 2014

It is not enough that a thing be possible for it to be believed.

Voltaire


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

*Hearts and a minor

♣3

When the opponents open a weak-two bid and your partner doubles, how do you show this South hand? The answer is that if playing simple methods, a jump to three spades is the best you can do. If you play that a call of two no-trump would be Lebensohl (weak with either minor or invitational with four spades) then a direct jump to three spades would show a five-card suit.

At our featured table South showed his values and bid his spades directly, and North quite reasonably took a try at the slam. With the duplication of shapes, South found himself in a challenging spot, but he was equal to the task.

After West led the club three, declarer won the king and drew trumps. Then he cashed the diamond king and ace, crossed to hand with the club ace, and ruffed his last diamond. After taking his remaining club winner, South had reached the critical moment in the deal. With hearts 5-2, what was the likely lie of the heart honors? Declarer decided that West was likely to hold both heart honors — but that additionally East might not defend correctly if he had the doubleton king.

A low heart was led from dummy, and when East unconcernedly followed with a small heart, declarer put in the heart 10 from hand. West took the trick and returned a low heart. Declarer ran it to his hand and claimed 12 tricks when East played small.


Every partnership ought to agree whether in such auctions fourth hand's pass over the redouble should be a suggestion of playing there, or should indicate nothing to say. My experience is that it is not infrequent to be able to pass here for penalty. So with a hand where you have no points but a long suit you must bid your suit at once. Thus, bid four clubs with as much enthusiasm as you can muster.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 3 2
 8 3
 9 7 5 3
♣ 9 8 7 5
South West North East
Pass 3 Dbl. Rdbl.
?      

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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

The moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast, the light
Gleams, and is gone.

Matthew Arnold


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

*Both majors, weak

♣10

A few years ago, the Mixed Teams at the European Championship (held in Antalya) was won by an England-Israeli combination. Although they did less well the next time out, even in what was a disappointing performance overall they still had some opportunities to show their class.

At some tables North-South were playing a strong-club system, so North opened one diamond, leading to an eventual contract of five diamonds by North. East led a top spade, (who would not?) and that was the end of the defensive prospects.

But Lilo and Matilda Poplilov bid to five diamonds, with Lilo as South becoming declarer. West, who had opened the bidding to show both majors and had doubled five diamonds, led the club 10, which looked suspiciously like a singleton. If declarer simply plays a diamond, West wins, puts East in with a spade, and a club ruff sinks the contract.

There was a no-cost play, found by Lilo, which gave him the extra chance of West being asleep! Declarer won the club ace, then played ace, king and another heart, discarding his spade four. When West (who had not unblocked his honors) had to win the heart, he could not put his partner in to get the ruff; so the game rolled home. A classic, if flawed example of a Scissors Coup.

Would you, as West, have been alert enough to unblock two of your heart honors in order to let your partner win the third round of the suit?


Your three-club call ought to set up a game-forcing auction (though in some cases, one might play four of a minor as forcing) so you should not pass now. Rather than bid three spades, which might get partner to bid three no-trump with a half-stopper in spades such as a doubleton queen, bid three hearts now. Partner will not raise without four trumps, and if he bids three no-trump, you can pass happily.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 6 3
 A K 2
 J 5
♣ K J 7 6 3
South West North East
Pass 1 2♠
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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

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