Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 31st, 2017

The person who goes farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore.

Dale Carnegie

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


This may seem like a ‘Heads you win, tails you win’ hand, but it is often easy to overlook suretrick lines. Will you fall into the trap?

When West overcalled one spade over South’s one heart opener, North judged that a negative double was his best way to compete. East made a pre-emptive jump raise and South competed to four diamonds, allowing North to convert to four hearts.

South knew that his partner rated to hold only a doubleton heart, since North would have raised his partner directly with three hearts. But he had no reason to overrule his partner.

When South ruffed away the spade king at trick one, he could see the real risk of his being forced. His next move was to cash the diamond ace and king, then exit with a third diamond, taken by West with the queen as East pitched a club. West persisted with a second spade, ruffed by South again, which left East with the long trump. South could not draw trump now, but he had a neat alternative approach, thanks to dummy’s heart spots.

After ruffing the second spade, he trumped one of his established diamonds in dummy. Then he returned to hand with the club ace, ruffed his last diamond, and still had three trump tricks in hand to bring his total to 10 tricks.

Incidentally, if West had returned a trump at trick five, declarer would have drawn trump, then cashed the long diamonds and club ace, to come to 10 tricks a different way.

Your partner’s three heart call suggests length there, so your hand should fit your partner well. Your ace in the side suit is bound to be useful, and your fourth trump and useful doubleton in hearts should be enough to jump to four spades. You may have a minimum in high cards, but not all minimums are created equal.


♠ 8 7 4 2
 Q 10
 A 8 6
♣ J 10 5 3
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♠ Pass
2 ♠ Pass 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact