Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

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


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.


♠ 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 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