Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 25th, 2014

The greater the ignorance the greater the dogmatism.

Sir William Osler

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


The junior and schools teams championships were contested in Atlanta last summer. When the last board of the Australia-Turkey semifinals started, Turkey had a comfortable lead.

Both tables in the match reached six clubs and the Australian East, led and continued diamonds, forcing declarer, Berk Gokce, to ruff. Gokce played his club ace and saw the trump void in West. He followed with dummy’s small trump to this trick, a slight but fatal error.

He next cashed the top hearts and ruffed the third heart with the trump queen in dummy. Then came a trump from dummy, which East covered with the nine and declarer won with the 10. Now declarer went to dummy with the spade king and led dummy’s remaining trump, the eight.

This time East did not cover, and declarer could not let the eight hold or he would be stranded in dummy, so had to overtake and eventually concede the setting trick to the trump jack.

Declarer had to unblock the club seven or eight under his ace on the first round of trump. Then he would have been left with the club two in the dummy in the ending. He would have finessed in clubs, ending up in his hand.

When slam made in the other room after a diamond lead and spade shift (and yes, the contract should have been defeated after that start), Australia qualified for the finals, where they lost to a strong American team.

It looks simple to bid one spade rather than redouble, since you really cannot expect to defend successfully to both red suits. The one-spade call is simply natural and unlimited except by the original pass. One other possible call is a fit-jump to two spades, though that would typically show five spades and four clubs.


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

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact 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


David WarheitAugust 8th, 2014 at 9:48 am

Thank you for the quote from William Osler. He was one of the founders of the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He probably has more buildings and diseases named after him than any other person, ever. His name is spoken every day on campus, and not just at the Hospital. His brain is being kept in Philadelphia, and it might be worthwhile to visit it some day, either for advice or to hear a good joke.

David Warheit
Graduate of Johns Hopkins (not the Hospital) 1964

bobby wolffAugust 8th, 2014 at 10:15 am

Hi David,

It is so interesting to hear about your background and very educational to understand what Mr. Osler has done for medical science, humanity and probably mostly unique to you, about humor.

When, because of the internet, compatible groups are thrown together with a common denominator (in our case, bridge), it is likely unusual for its members to get to know personal information about each other’s background, which, when it occurs, definitely adds to its feeling and therefore overall warmth.

As we get older it is natural to think of possible legacies we would all like to leave, and obviously Mr. William Osler has left a monumental one. We can all imagine the value of his special contributions which, no doubt, will live forever.

Thanks for the visit down your memory lane, which cries out for all of us to first pause, think and then revere.