Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

The capacity to contemplate … the harmonious elegance in Nature’s manifestations, is one of the most satisfactory experiences of which man is capable.

Dr. Hans Selye

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

*Long minor plus a major


On this deal from last spring’s Jacoby Open Swiss Teams in Kansas City, Missouri, Peter Boyd found a pretty line to bring home three no-trump after receiving some clues in the bidding and play. Boyd was partnering with Adam Wildavsky and received some clues from the auction.

West led the club king against three no-trump and continued with the club queen, as East discarded a discouraging diamond. Declarer ducked again, took the club jack at trick three as East pitched a spade and, guided by the auction, cashed the diamond ace. The welcome sight of the diamond king from West gave him eight top winners and also created the possibility of pressure against West later on. But for this to be relevant, West needed to have started with four hearts, so that dummy’s long heart could bring that pressure.

Boyd correctly continued by cashing his diamond winners as West was forced to disgorge a low spade and the club seven. Now Boyd played the fourth round of diamonds. East won the trick while declarer threw a low spade, but West was now caught in the toils. He chose to discard a second low spade, but when East exited with a heart, declarer won the king, cashed the heart ace-queen (pitching a club), then crossed to the spade ace, dropping West’s king.

East had followed suit throughout so was forced down to Q-8 of spades. Thus after a low spade to dummy’s jack, East could win his queen but then had to give declarer his game-going trick at the end in the form of the spade 10.

Your hand is on the cusp of inviting game, but with all your values in the suits where partner is short, the more discreet action is simply to bid two spades rather than to invite game with a call of two no-trump. You might tip me the other way if you had the spade 10 in addition to your other values.


♠ J 4
 A Q 7 3
 Q J 5 2
♣ 10 6 4
South West North East
    1 ♠ Pass
1 NT 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 2018. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact


Iain ClimieMarch 28th, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Hi Bobby,

The website has found a hole in the space-time continuum. I expect to see the new hand around 10.00 am UK summer time but the post on the result from Kansas City turned up at least 10.5 hrs early! Really good hand, though.



JRGMarch 29th, 2018 at 12:50 am

Blame Albert, it’s all his fault. 🙂

Bobby WolffMarch 29th, 2018 at 1:33 am

Hi Iain & JRG,

First, as always thanks JRG for righting the ship.

Ugh, I had an uncle named Albert from Houston, Texas,, but he left us in the 1940s. However, let’s just say, he should have done better.

And Iain, no fair peeking.

Iain ClimieMarch 29th, 2018 at 12:40 pm


Good to put a face to the name; I’d do the same myself but might turn the less robust readers to stone.