Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

The way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.

W. H. Auden

S North
None ♠ A
 A K 3
 K Q 9 5 3
♣ J 10 9 8
West East
♠ Q 10 9 8 6 4
 J 10 2
 A 6
♣ K 4
♠ J 2
 8 7 6 4
 10 8 7 4
♣ 6 3 2
♠ K 7 5 3
 Q 9 5
 J 2
♣ A Q 7 5
South West North East
1 ♣ 1 ♠ 2 Pass
2 NT Pass 3 ♣ Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
3 NT All pass    


The three little pigs have become quite proficient at duplicate bridge, though it is hard to persuade them away from their morbid fascination with MUD leads. In today’s deal, though, they revealed aspects of their personality in their play of a game on this deal.

All three of them sat South at different tables, and all played in three no-trump after receiving a simple overcall in spades from West. That player made his natural lead of the spade 10 and when dummy put up the ace, East unblocked the jack.

The little pig that made his house out of straw insouciantly took an immediate club finesse, won the third spade, and tried to drive out the diamond ace. West won and cashed out the spades for down two.

The second little pig, who relied on sticks, led a diamond from dummy towards his jack. Again, West won and cleared spades. Declarer could now test the diamonds before committing himself to clubs, but again, when the finesse lost, the defenders had six tricks.

The third little pig, who put his trust in bricks and mortar, understood that West’s decision to overcall and not make a weak jump marked him with both outstanding minor-suit honors. He came to hand with a heart to the queen, then led the diamond two toward dummy’s honors. If West had risen with the ace, South would have had four diamond tricks. When he played low, that gave declarer six top tricks, and he could now knock out the club king to claim his game.

There are several choices one might consider, but I would earnestly request you to reject forcing to game with a jump to three clubs. This hand is nowhere near strong enough for such an action when partner bids your singleton. A bid of two no-trump is certainly reasonable, but the alternative of bidding two clubs, (planning to bid again, to show extras, if the auction continues) would be my choice.


♠ A
 A K 3
 K Q 8 5 3
♣ J 10 9 8
South West North East
1 Pass 1 ♠ 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