Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, November 2nd, 2019

I prefer an accommodating vice to an obstinate virtue.


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

*Both majors


North made a Michaels cuebid to show the majors over West’s light opener in third seat, and South judged his spade king and ruffing value in hearts to be worth a mild invite of three spades. This was sensible: Even though one of the minor-suit kings would probably be wasted, the other might be working overtime, as here. North had an easy raise to game.

West’s singleton heart lead went to dummy’s ace. Now declarer, seeking to ruff a heart in hand, correctly crossed to hand with the spade king to lead a second heart through the void. West intelligently pitched a diamond, unwilling to ruff thin air, and after scoring the heart king, South made another careful play when he called for the spade ace.

Only then did declarer ruff a heart in hand. The play of the spade ace had the effect of extracting West’s safe exit card, so he could no longer over-ruff and exit passively in the trump suit. Nevertheless, West chose to over-ruff immediately and found the best continuation of a small club.

With the clubs blocked, declarer could not immediately benefit from this, but he found a counter. He rose with dummy’s club ace, then led a club to his 10. That left West on lead without resource. He had to establish an extra trick for declarer in one minor or the other, along with an entry.

It would not have helped West not to over-ruff the third heart. South would have crossed to the club ace and thrown West on lead with a spade to produce the same ending.

Your hand could hardly be better now. Knowing of a nine-card heart fit and probably short spades opposite, you can visualize a slam. The power of your club filler will come in handy as well. Cue-bid four clubs to set the scene for slam investigations, intending to make another move even if partner signs off. But since your hand is all keycards, partner may be in a better position to ask for aces than you.


♠ A 9 6 4 3
 A K J 7 5
♣ A 4
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 2 ♣ 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 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact