Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

Thinking nothing done while anything remained to be done.


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


One of the hidden sequences to which experts attach a meaning different from the casual player, is the jump overcall. The majority of experts temper discretion with valor, and especially when vulnerable may play a jump overcall to be closer to intermediate than weak. And almost without exception, experts play jump overcalls in the balancing or protective seat as intermediate, not weak. With a bad hand they pass, with a moderate hand they make a simple overcall.

In today’s deal South followed a simple route with his hand in the balancing seat. North had just enough to raise to game, and when dummy came down South saw that the hands fitted very well, and game would be straightforward if he could avoid a trump loser. It was worth making the effort to protect against a 4-1 trump break, so that was what South directed his energies to.

The defenders led the spade king, then shifted to the club queen. South won and played a second spade to West, and back came the club 10 to the king. Declarer played a heart to the king, then took a spade ruff, just in case. Now the heart ace disclosed the bad break, but South took the diamond king, and led a diamond to the ace. A second club ruff then reduced South to two trumps. In the three-card ending he exited with a diamond and claimed the last two tricks, since whichever defender took the trick would have to lead round to his trump tenace.

Do not be put off by your weak spades from raising to two spades here. Yes, there are lies of the cards where you might walk into a penalty – but one doesn’t avoid crossing the road because a car might jump a red light and hit you. You have the values and shape for a raise, so bid your hand and let the chips fall where they may.


♠ 8 4 3
 K 3
 A 7 5 2
♣ 7 6 4 2
South West North East
    1♠ 1 NT

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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact