Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Vulnerable: North-South

Dealer: West

North

Q 10 9

9 5

Q 8 7 6 2

A 8 5

West

A J 6 3 2

J 10

K Q 10 6 4 3

East

8 7 4

A J 6 2

9 5 4 3

J 7

South

K 5

K Q 10 8 7 4 3

A K

9 2

 

South West North East
1 Pass 1
2 2 3 Pass
4 All pass

Opening Lead: Club king

“Who drives the horses of the sun

Shall lord it but a day;

Better the lowly deed were done,

And kept the humble way.”


– John Vance Cheney

Some cards are easy to cover; some are not. This is surely about as low as one can go (in all senses of the word) when it comes to avoiding the cover.

At the U.S. Trials in 1997 both tables reached four hearts, but where Martel for the eventually successful Deutsch team was declarer, he had heard his LHO bid only the black suits. He won the opening club lead with the ace in dummy and played the heart nine immediately. Sitting East, I took the ace and returned a spade. Martel put up the king, but Bob Hamman, sitting West, knew better than to take the trick and provide an entry to dummy. He ducked the trick, and when Martel exited from hand with a club, Hamman won the trick, cashed his spade ace, and exited with a third club. Now the defense could keep declarer out of dummy for a further heart finesse, so Martel lost a second heart trick — one down.

Where Nick Nickell was declaring four hearts, East had bid hearts in the auction shown. Nickell took the club lead and innocently played the heart five from dummy. Be honest; as East would you have remembered to cover this with the six? When East did not do so, Nickell played low from his hand as well, and the heart five held the trick. Now the lead remained in dummy for declarer to repeat the heart finesse, and with only one heart trick to lose, made the contract.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

Q 10 9
9 5
Q 8 7 6 2
A 8 5

 

South West North East
1 Pass
1 1 2 Pass
3 Pass 3 Pass
?
ANSWER: Your partner has shown a very good hand (a better hand than if he had jumped to three diamonds over one spade). Since you have a perfectly good spade stop, you should bid three no-trump now, expecting your partner will know you are not loaded for bear in spades, since you did not bid no-trump at your previous turn.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

Vulnerable: North-South

Dealer: East

North

6 5

J 6 5 2

Q J 10 9 3

A 2

West

J 10 4 3

8 7 4 2

K Q J 10 8

East

9 7 2

A K 10 9 7 3

6 5

5 4

South

A K Q 8

Q 8 4

A K

9 7 6 3

 

South West North East
2
2 NT Pass 3 NT All pass

Opening Lead: Club king

“Rarely, rarely, comest thou,

Spirit of Delight!”


– Percy Bysshe Shelley

Today’s deal is one of the nicest constructed hands I’ve seen in a long while. When you’ve solved it, give it to your friends as a puzzle, and see how long it takes them to spot the theme.

After East has opened a weak two, you play the predictable no-trump game and receive the lead of a top club. To cut the defenders’ communications as best you can, you duck the trick, win the next club, and take stock of the situation. With six top winners and only one heart trick to establish, how can you bring the diamonds in without the aid of Houdini?

The answer is both elegant and simple, once you see the trick, but the solution certainly does not jump off the page. You cash all your diamond and spade winners, reducing East down to his six hearts. Leading the heart queen won’t work now — East ducks. Similarly, if you run the heart eight, East ducks that, AND the heart queen when you play it next! At that point you will have to give the last four tricks either to East or to West, no matter what you lead.

Instead, you must lead the heart four to the five in dummy. East must win that, after which he can do no better than cash the heart king, under which you unblock the queen. East can take his heart ace, but then must give the lead to dummy, which is now high.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

6 5
J 6 5 2
Q J 10 9 3
A 2

 

South West North East
1 1
Dbl. 2 Pass Pass
?
ANSWER: Passing now would be reasonable, but it is tough to give up on diamonds when the opponents have found a fit. You could double for a second time, which is takeout, suggesting extras beyond what you showed with your first call, or you can simply bid three diamonds (my choice). This action is not strong, since you would have bid two diamonds at your first turn with invitational values.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 13th, 2011

Vulnerable: Neither

Dealer: South

North

J 8 5

K 3

A Q 9 5

K Q J 4

West

A Q 9

Q 9 8 6 5

2

10 7 6 3

East

7 6 4 2

10 7 4

K J 10 6

8 2

South

K 10 3

A J 2

8 7 4 3

A 9 5

 

South West North East
1 Pass 2 * Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All pass

*Inverted raise, at least invitational, with diamond support

Opening Lead: Heart six

“Simplicity of character is no hindrance to subtlety of intellect.”


– Viscount Morley

This column aims to amuse, as well as to educate and instruct, but from time to time I acknowledge that the deals err on the side of complexity. By contrast, maybe today’s deal will strike some of my readers as a little too easy, but I’m sure that at the table it would catch out quite a few victims.

Today’s three no-trump should be easy enough to reach, even though North may initially be dazzled by the possibility of playing slam in diamonds. When his partner shows a balanced minimum hand, North should settle for game, against which West leads the heart six, East’s 10 falling to the jack.

Now, if South counts his tricks, he will see that there are eight on top. If he attempts to develop the ninth by playing on diamonds, he will find that the defenders can establish the setting tricks in hearts before the vital ninth trick can be made.

The correct play is to attack spades, in which a trick can surely be set up, no matter what the lie of the opponents’ cards. So declarer crosses to a club in dummy and leads a spade back to his 10 at the third trick. After this start, declarer cannot fail against any lie of the cards. If any South player goes down in three no-trump, the alibi that he thought he had to play for overtricks will be treated with the respect that it deserves.


LEAD WITH THE ACES

South holds:

A J 8 7
J 9 7 4
9 3 2
K 3

 

South West North East
1 NT
All pass
ANSWER: I’m not going to say a spade lead won’t work on this hand (it might). But at most forms of scoring — especially at pairs, by the way — the strategy of leading on blind auctions against no-trump is to attack from a long suit (five or more cards). If you can’t do that, look for a safe lead, and leading from A-J-fourth into a strong hand is unattractive. By contrast, a heart lead combines aggression and safety pretty well.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, June 12th, 2011

Dear Mr Wolff:

My mother said she might be interested in getting a computer to play bridge. I know there are game systems out there that may have a bridge application, but they are expensive and may be too complex. I think she may enjoy a computerized bridge game or even solitaire if I can find the right one for her.

— Dutiful Daughter, Pittsburgh, Pa.

ANSWER: Does your mother use a computer for e-mail or the internet? If so, she can play for free on bridgebase.com. She can sign up and play any time of the day or night — and should not be worried about not finding players at her level. However, for hand-held games, maybe Saitek’s bridge products would be suitable.

Dear Mr Wolff:

Holding SPADES 9-3, HEARTS A-Q-4, DIAMONDS A-J-9-3-2, CLUBS A-10-6, I assume you would open a strong no-trump, as I did. My partner (an expert) transferred into spades, then nearly made me fall off my chair by bidding five no-trump. What on earth did that call mean?

— Jumping Jack, Newark, N.J.

ANSWER: A transfer and jump to four no-trump invites slam, a transfer and bid of five no-trump generally offers a choice of slams. Normal actions are to bid spades or no-trump, but here, with a decent five-card suit, you can bid six diamonds to suggest an alternative contract. Even a 5-2 diamond fit might be best, and if you need to ruff out spades or take a ruff in partner’s hand, it could be the only making slam.

Dear Mr Wolff:

In a recent problem that you presented, you mentioned the difference between bidding a new suit in response to an overcall when the hand on your right has passed, and when that hand has raised his partner, or even doubled, or bid a new suit. Under what circumstances would a new suit by the partner of an overcaller be forcing?

— Hot Shot, Texarkana, Texas

ANSWER: New suits in response to a one-level overcall (when there is no further competition) can be played as forcing or invitational. I prefer to play them as encouraging but not forcing. But if that overcall is at the two-level, it is best to play a new suit as forcing. By contrast, if the third hand joins in, new suits should be played as natural and nonforcing, though one could hold up to an opening bid with a good five- or six-card suit.

  Dear Mr Wolff:

In a recent pairs game I had a difficult decision when partner, in first seat with both sides vulnerable, opened two spades. I held SPADES 10-7-3, HEARTS A-9-7-5-4, DIAMONDS J-3, CLUBS K-10-8. Normally I would raise to three with trump support and a weak hand, continuing the pre-empt and making it more difficult for the opponents to find a game. In this situation, however, it seemed unlikely that opponents had a game, even if they had 24 or more points. What do you recommend?

— Upping the Ante, Grand Forks, N.D.

ANSWER: Raising to three spades makes it far harder for your LHO to come into the auction — he can’t double (for fear of a heart response), and if he bids a suit, he has gone past three no-trump. I generally bid first and justify my action later on sequences like these.

Dear Mr Wolff:

How would you handle this collection of power and quality: SPADES K-J-8-2, HEARTS 9-3, DIAMONDS 7-3, CLUBS J-10-8-4-2, at matchpoint pairs with both sides vulnerable, when your partner opens one heart in first seat? Assuming you pass, your LHO balances with two diamonds, passed back to you. What now?

— Slim Pickings, Bremerton, Wash.

ANSWER: It feels clearly right to pass initially. Responding rates to get you too high, and with no quick tricks, game seems a long way off. If two diamonds came back to me, I would double for takeout, risking that we had a playable fit somewhere. That action is not gilt-edged, but you are somewhat protected by your first pass — partner won’t play you for much!

 


If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, e-mail him at bobbywolff@mindspring.com. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, June 11th, 2011

Vulnerable: Neither

Dealer: South

North

9 6 5 2

K Q 2

K 8 5

A 9 4

West

J 10 8 7

J 9 7

9 7 3 2

5 3

East

K

10 8 6 4 3

Q 6 4

J 10 7 2

South

A Q 4 3

A 5

A J 10

K Q 8 6

 

South West North East
2 NT Pass 6 NT All pass

Opening Lead: Diamond two

“Why! who makes much of a miracle?

As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles.”


– Walt Whitman

In a recent Norwegian Team Championship, Svein-Harald Riisnaes and his partner wisely opted to play slam in no-trump, not in their 4-4 spade fit.

When dummy came down, declarer had just 10 top tricks despite the combined 32 HCP and West’s helpful lead of a diamond to the queen and ace. Needing just three spade tricks, South elected to lay down the spade ace (planning to lead up to the queen on the next round of the suit). When the king dropped from East — yes, this would have been a great moment for a false-card from the doubleton king — declarer could see his way to 12 tricks if the missing clubs broke 3-3. Equally, if West held a finessable doubleton jack or 10 of clubs, the 12th trick could be developed.

Accordingly, Riisnaes took the club king and ace, but when no jack or 10 appeared, he had no option but to play off the third top club. West, who had to discard on the third club winner, threw a heart away, so Riisnaes took the three heart winners (pitching his club from hand) to squeeze a diamond out of West. Next came the diamond king, then the jack, and that reduced South, West and North each to three spades.

Declarer now led a low spade away from the queen toward dummy’s nine. West won with the 10, but was endplayed, so that the spade queen and spade nine scored the last two tricks, and the slam came home.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

9 6 5 2
K Q 2
K 8 5
A 9 4

 

South West North East
1 1 Pass
?
ANSWER: It looks natural enough to try for game here, but a jump to two no-trump should be invitational facing even a minimum overcall, and you are considerably short of the necessary firepower to issue such an invitation. Bidding only one no-trump sounds like an underbid, but you should leave it up to partner to bid on with extra high-cards or shape here.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 10th, 2011

Vulnerable: East-West

Dealer: North

North

Q 4 2

9 6 3

A K 9 5 2

9 2

West

J 10 9

Q

Q 10 6 4

K Q 6 4 3

East

3

A K J 10 8 4 2

J 7

8 7 5

South

A K 8 7 6 5

7 5

8 3

A J 10

 

South West North East
Pass 3
3 Pass 4 All pass

Opening Lead: Heart queen

“We haven’t the time to take our time.”


– Eugene Ionesco

At the Dyspeptics Club time is money, and the regular players in the rubber bridge game often appear to consider it a sign of weakness to pause for thought. In today’s deal it was therefore remarkable that South was prepared to go the extra mile and think about his problem until he came up with a sensible answer.

East’s classic three-level pre-empt did not silence South, and North had more than enough to raise the three-spade overcall to game. West led his singleton heart queen, and the defense played three rounds of hearts. What do you think South’s best play in this situation might be now?

South saw that if spades were 2-2 and the clubs not unfavorable, he should ruff the heart high and could simply draw trump. But the fact that East had discarded an encouraging club made South concerned about that suit, and with the 7-1 heart break, an even trump split seemed unlikely.

After due consideration (during which time West had ostentatiously shaken his watch to make sure that it was still going), South decided to discard the club 10 on the third heart. He won the club return in hand and decided that diamonds were unlikely to ruff out, since West had at least nine minor-suit cards.

South elected to play out six rounds of trump instead, and on the last one, in the three-card ending, West had to concede, since he controlled both minors and could not retain a high club and three diamonds.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

Q 4 2
9 6 3
A K 9 5 2
9 2

 

South West North East
1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Dbl. Pass
?
ANSWER: Your partner’s call shows the unbid suits, spades and diamonds (probably with some club length too) and a full opener. He would not back into a live auction unless he had a decent hand. In that context your hand has real prospects for game, so jump to four diamonds. You could hardly be better here, could you?

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 9th, 2011

Vulnerable: Both

Dealer: East

North

K 8 6 5 4

J 9

8 6 3 2

Q 7

West

Q J 9

A Q 10 5

9 7 5 4

K 8

East

7

8 7 4 3 2

J 10

J 9 4 3 2

South

A 10 3 2

K 6

A K Q

A 10 6 5

 

South West North East
Pass
2 NT Pass 3 Pass
4 All pass

Opening Lead: Diamond four

“Justice is justly represented Blind, because she sees no Difference in the Parties concerned.”


– William Penn

Occasionally a deal crops up that causes even the best players to have a blind spot. This one caught out world champion Norberto Bocchi.

First cover up the East and West hands and consider declarer’s problem. South declares four spades, and West leads the diamond seven to the 10 and king. Declarer plays the king and ace of trumps, finding that West started with Q-J-9. How should he continue?

What happened at the table was that declarer played his other two top diamonds and then led a low club. However, this allowed West to win with the king, cash the spade queen, and play the diamond nine, forcing declarer to ruff in hand with his last trump. Declarer could now play a club to dummy’s queen, but couldn’t get back to hand to cash the club ace. When the heart ace was wrong, he had to go down.

Can you see where he went wrong? After the spade king and ace, he should have played a club immediately. This does not give up on any of his chances since, once trumps fail to break, he needs either the club king or heart ace to be right. Now West again wins the club king, cashes the spade queen, and plays a diamond, but this time declarer can win, play a club to the queen, a diamond back to his hand, and the club ace, discarding a heart from dummy. A club ruff followed by a diamond ruff sees him home.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

K 8 6 5 4
J 9
8 6 3 2
Q 7

 

South West North East
1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
?
ANSWER: It is primarily a matter of partnership agreement as to how to continue over reverses. A simple way is to play that responder’s rebid of his own suit is forcing for one round but not to game, while all direct three-level bids are game-forcing. Responder uses a bid of two no-trump as weak, without five cards in his initial suit. Using these methods, South can bid two spades happily enough.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Vulnerable: East-West

Dealer: South

North

Q 3

Q 8

K Q 10 9 8 4

J 8 4

West

J 8 6 2

9 7 2

J 7 6 2

7 5

East

K 10 5

J 10 6 5

3

K 10 9 3 2

South

A 9 7 4

A K 4 3

A 5

A Q 6

 

South West North East
2 NT Pass 3 * Pass
3 NT Pass 4 ** Pass
4 Pass 5 Pass
6 All pass

*Transfer to three no-trump to show diamonds

**A diamond slam-try

Opening Lead: Spade two

“But evil is wrought by want of thought,

As well as want of heart.”


– Thomas Hood

If your bridge is confined to the rubber bridge table or events where dealing is done manually, you are perhaps used to being treated kindly as far as bad breaks are concerned. Human dealers tend to be lazy, and insufficient shuffling leads to more-balanced hands. All tournaments (and most clubs, too) these days use computer dealing, when the actual distribution should equate to the theoretical distribution, so you need to be more prepared for bad breaks.

Sometimes unfriendly distribution can easily be overcome: all you need do is keep your head and not panic.

At one table, South opened two no-trump and North-South’s methods were such that he ended up as declarer in the good six diamonds, West choosing a spade lead.

Superficially it looks as if South rates to lose a diamond and a trick in one of the black suits, but watch what happened. Declarer tried the spade queen from dummy and won East’s king with his ace. Not being psychic, he then played the diamond ace and king. When he discovered the bad news, he realized he needed to reduce dummy’s trumps twice.

He played three rounds of hearts, discarding a spade from the table, and ruffed a spade. He then played a club to his queen, cashed the club ace and ruffed another spade. This left dummy with the diamond queen and 10, and a losing club. Declarer now exited with a club, and had to make two diamond tricks at the end.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

K 10 5
J 10 6 5
3
K 10 9 3 2

 

South West North East
2 2 Pass
?
ANSWER: You are obviously worth a raise of spades. Here, your singleton diamond rates to be useful, but your soft high-cards are not guaranteed to be pulling their full weight. This hand seems worth no more than a raise to three spades, rather than a cue-bid raise of three diamonds, which ought to be a somewhat better hand.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Vulnerable: Both

Dealer: South

North

K J

9 3

8 7 5 4

Q 10 9 4 2

West

10 3

J 8 7 5

A 10 9 2

K J 5

East

9 8 6 5 2

10 4 2

K 6 3

6 3

South

A Q 7 4

A K Q 6

Q J

A 8 7

 

South West North East
2 Pass 2 Pass
2 NT Pass 3 NT All pass

Opening Lead: Heart five

“This world, where much is to be done and little to be known.”


– Samuel Johnson

Defense is one of the hardest aspects of the game. But somehow, when the chances of defeating a contract seem remote, life is not so hard. If there is only one card for partner to hold that would enable you to defeat a contract, then you must play him for that card.

As West, you lead the heart five against South’s three no-trump. Partner plays the 10 and declarer wins with the king. He then plays the club ace and another club. How do you defend?

The first thing to do is to work out how many points your partner has. Here declarer has 22 – 24 and dummy six, so partner can have at most a queen or a king. Declarer must have the spade ace or queen (or both), so dummy has a certain entry, and as soon as you win your club king, declarer will have a total of four tricks in that suit. If you are going to beat three no-trump, you need to do so now.

The only helpful card that partner can possibly have is the diamond king, along with two other cards in the suit, leaving declarer with queen-jack doubleton. So you should win the club king and switch to the diamond two. The subtle point here is that you cannot afford to duck the club king, as you normally would in this type of situation, because it is quite likely that declarer will then have nine tricks to cash — as would happen today.


BID WITH THE ACES

South holds:

A Q 7 4
A K Q 6
Q J
A 8 7

 

South West North East
1
Dbl. Pass 1 Pass
?
ANSWER: The simple solution here is to jump to two no-trump. Since a bid of one no-trump in this sequence would show 18-20 points, a call of two no-trump shows approximately 21-22. I agree that it is possible that a 4-3 major-suit fit might play better, but since there is no scientific way to find out, settle for the value bid and let partner explore other strains if his hand warrants it.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 6th, 2011

Vulnerable: Neither

Dealer: North

North

A K 6 5

K J 3

K 6 4 3 2

A

West

10 2

10 9 7 6

Q 8 7

Q J 5 4

East

Q 9 8 7

A 8 2

10

K 10 9 8 6

South

J 4 3

Q 5 4

A J 9 5

7 3 2

 

South West North East
1 Pass
1 NT Pass 3 NT All pass

Opening Lead: Club four

“Wish me good speed,

For I am going into a wilderness

Where I shall find nor path nor friendly clue

To be my guide.”


– John Webster

One of the best tournaments in England is a double-elimination event, the Spring Foursomes. In the 2005 event David Price’s squad was undefeated in the double-elimination phase. At the end of their allotted boards in their next match, Price was down by 48 IMPs, but they exercised their option, as an undefeated team, to play a further eight deals. They garnered an incredible 52 IMPs to win the match and reach the final. The fairy tale ended there, however, since they lost in the finals.

In this deal from the tournament West led the club four against Price’s contract of three no-trump, suggesting that he had led from a four-card suit. Dummy’s ace won, but as the bidding had cried out for a major-suit lead, Price placed West with no five-card suit, relatively short holdings in both majors, and inferentially, three cards in diamonds. Therefore at trick two he led a low diamond to his ace. Seeing East’s 10 drop, he continued with the jack. When this held, the nine to dummy’s queen allowed the suit to be run.

There are eight tricks, but any attempt to try for a ninth in hearts would see East take his ace, and an avalanche of clubs would follow. As it was, though, East was squeezed on the last diamond. To protect the heart ace and spade queen, he had to let a club go. Now declarer could afford to play a heart, as all that the defense could then cash were three club tricks. Contract made.


LEAD WITH THE ACES

South holds:

J 7 6 2
A 9
10 2
Q 8 6 3 2

 

South West North East
1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 4
All pass
ANSWER: When you have trump control, the lead of a doubleton has rather more to recommend it than usual. Here, while a spade lead might work (or even a club lead, to give partner a ruff), it is somewhat easier to envision diamond ruffs, so I would lead the diamond 10.

 


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.