Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.

Robert Louis Stevenson

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


This month I am delighted to be able to run deals from Frank Stewart’s new book. Keys to Winning Bridge is not only a book with tips that will help players at all levels, it is also a book with a social conscience, since Frank devotes all the income from the book to his local Fayette charities. For details of the book and other of his works, go to

This is a declarer play problem from the book. As Stewart says, correct timing requires an ability to visualize and manipulate a card array; it requires foresight acquired through practice.

Against three no-trump West leads a low heart, and declarer puts up dummy’s jack, winning the trick. I’m willing to bet the majority of declarers would take a diamond finesse next. If they do so, West will win and lead a club, putting South to a nasty guess, since now South has only eight top tricks. He can make his game if the club finesse works or if spades break 3-3, but he must decide which play to try.

For example, in the diagramed position declarer must play on spades. But switch the club king and spade five, for instance. Now if South rejects the club finesse, West can pitch hearts and keep enough clubs to set the game.

After South wins the first trick, he should take his three high spades. Should the suit break 4-2, South would know he needed the club finesse if the diamond finesse didn’t work.

When you bid two clubs, you showed a limit raise or better in hearts, an action that starts at about a 10-count with four trump, give or take a point. When your partner rejects your game try you had better have a really good hand to continue the auction – and this isn’t it. You might bid two no-trump to invite game if your diamond four were the queen; but as it is, you have an easy pass.


♠ A Q 6 4
 J 6 5
 10 9 5 4
♣ A Q
South West North East
  1 ♣ 1 Pass
2 ♣ Pass 2 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