Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 26th, 2018

We ought to feel deep cheerfulness that a happy Providence kept it from being any worse.

Thomas Hardy

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


When North raises South’s opening bid of one spade to two, South knows that slam is highly unlikely, but there is bound to be at least decent play for game. So South just ups and bids game in spades, and then must try to make it on the lead of the heart king.

South should expect to lose a heart and a diamond, so must hold his club losers to one. It may look natural to go after diamonds, but that would be a mistake; if the defenders can dislodge the only sure entry to dummy, declarer may not be able to maximize his play in clubs.

Instead, South wins the heart ace and draws three rounds of trumps. He must then resist the temptation to exit passively in hearts; again, the defenders might go after declarer’s diamond entry to dummy before declarer is ready for this to happen.

Instead, South leads a low club towards dummy’s queen, hoping West holds the king. If so, declarer’s queen and ace of clubs will take tricks, and he can trump his last club in dummy if necessary. But East takes dummy’s queen with his ace and returns a heart to his partner’s queen, and West now shifts to a diamond to East’s ace. East returns a second diamond, and dummy wins with the king.

The time has come to try the second finesse in clubs. Declarer leads a low club from dummy and puts in the 10 from his own hand. When it holds the trick, South can cash the club ace and ruff his last club with dummy’s remaining trump.

Your choice is between the black suits, and if you lead a spade, you have the option of a high or low card. The spade lead is just a little too dangerous for me, so I would lead the club six, though give me the spade nine instead of the eight, and I’d settle for a spade.


♠ J 10 8 3
 K 4 3
 A J 7 6
♣ 6 2
South West North East
    Pass 1
Pass 1 ♠ Pass 3
All 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 2018. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact