Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, March 18th, 2012

I see you lead king from ace king. I understand Rusinow leads involve leading second from touching honors. I know from the ACBL Encyclopedia that they are supposed to be "off" in no-trump contracts and when leading partner's bid suit. With the above in mind, what is your take on these methods?

Jaba the Hut, Ames, Iowa

In fact Rusinow leads work well at both no-trump and suits. The problem is that leads of the jack and 10 from short suits are sometimes ambiguous. That said, one should also combine them at no-trump with using the king as an unblock lead from three honors, while the ace is from A-K without the queen or jack.

In fourth seat my partner held ♠ 4,  K-7-3,  A-K-9-4-2, ♣ A-10-5-3 and opened one diamond. After a one-spade overcall, passed back to him, he reopened with two clubs and we missed our penalty. (I had five good spades and nine points.) He said he could not double without four hearts. What do you say?

Lying in Ambush, Torrance, Calif.

In this sequence, reopening when holding full values and short spades is mandatory. The fact that your partner has at least three cards in an unbid suit is more than sufficient. After all, if you pick hearts, he won't exactly be giving you an unsuitable holding to work with. For the same reason a regular takeout double suggests but does not promise four cards in every unbid suit.

What is the definition of a responsive double? Is the critical factor that partner's first action is a double, or that the opponents have bid and raised the same suit?

Dictionary Johnson, Dover, Del.

When partner doubles, you make a responsive double if the opponents raise the same suit, but NOT if the opponents bid a new suit — then your double is business. Conversely, if partner overcalls and the opponents either raise the bid suit or bid a new suit, your double would be values, suggesting the unbid suit(s) — typically with tolerance for partner. By contrast, your bidding a suit suggests more length or strength in that suit, while you may have fewer values and less tolerance for partner.

As dealer I picked up ♠ Q-10-5-3,  9-4  K-7-3,  A-Q-7-2, and passed initially. When I heard a weak two-diamond call to my left, passed back to me, was I right to pass? As it turned out, our side had good play for three no-trump and collected only 100 in undertricks.

Undercooked, Tucson, Ariz.

Some hands are just too hard. If you had guessed to double, partner might have jumped to four hearts, while if you had bid two no-trump, you might have gone for your life when partner was weak. If you can't stand to pass, the only conceivable bid here is two spades — and I'm not foolhardy enough to risk that either.

I held 20 points, no singleton or void, and five spades. Was I supposed to open two no-trump, or one spade?

Goodies Galore, Edmonton, Alberta

When in the right range, you are almost always better off opening two no-trump with a balanced or semi-balanced hand — unless you have a simple way to show your hand. By this I mean that with 5-4 pattern you may prefer to open the long suit and jump in the other suit. Some experts will go further and open two no-trump with a singleton high honor. Without necessarily agreeing with them, the no-trump call sounds very much the right option with your 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 17th, 2012

But I've grown thoughtful now. And you have lost
Your early-morning freshness of surprise
At being so utterly mine.

Siegfried Sassoon


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

K

Today's deal has several points of interest. First, look at the auction: does North's pass of four hearts describe his hand? I'd say yes. The pass IS forcing, and I prefer to play double by North as suggesting some defense, with a pass implicitly weak.

South now has to guess whether to bid six spades at his second turn — not unreasonable since any working queen in the North hand gives slam good play — or to go low with a call of four spades. Even the pessimistic action is quite high enough today.

On the lead of the heart king South ruffs and plays the spade ace, discovering the bad break. Now he must be careful, since if he drives out the trump queen, the defenders can force him and he never scores a third club trick. If he plays ace, king and a third club, the defenders lead a fourth club and score a second trump winner. Playing three rounds of diamonds before clubs simply lets East win and lead hearts again, and declarer will be defeated.

The winning line at trick three is simple and elegant — but not easy to find at the table. Declarer must lead the club jack from hand, giving the defenders the awkward choice of winning and providing South with an entry to dummy for the trump finesse, or of ducking.

If West does play low, declarer can simply drive out the spade queen and has five trump tricks and five side-suit winners.


If your partnership is not permitted to jump in spades after the double to show a pre-emptive raise, you can be sure that you will not be applying the appropriate degree of pressure to the opponents when you have a fit and a weak hand. Here it must be best to use a jump to two no-trump for a limit raise in spades and make a jump in spades with a hand like this.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 9 4 3
 9 7 2
 Q J 8 7
♣ 4 3
South West North East
1♠ Dbl.
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 16th, 2012

The end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were the noblest.

Thomas Carlyle


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

*Both majors

**Clubs

♠J

Today's deal comes from the U.S. trials of a couple of years ago, where two of the top pairs in the country, Bobby Levin and Steve Weinstein, lost today's battle but won the war, when their squad emerged victorious to represent USA in Veldhoven in 2011.

The auction may look confusing, but all the spade calls were artificial. Weinstein showed the majors, letting Brad Moss show clubs and a game-forcing hand. Now Fred Gitelman as North initially showed his spade stopper, then when South showed both minors and slam interest, his four-spade call was a cue-bid. After the double the four-no-trump bid suggested a hand better than a sign-off in five clubs, so Moss bid the club slam.

When Bobby Levin kicked off with the spade jack, Moss won the ace, knowing that he was likely to have to ruff a diamond in dummy. If East was going to follow to a round or two of diamonds, then trumps were going to break badly.

Accordingly, at trick two Moss crossed to hand in hearts, played a club to the nine, cashed the ace-king of diamonds, and played another diamond. That way Moss could ruff the fourth diamond in dummy without losing a trump. This approach would also have been required with a few specific layouts when West had as little as jack-third of trumps.

Not surprisingly, Moss was the only one of four declarers who brought home this slam. If you start with a top trump from hand, the bad trump break dooms you.


You are far too strong to jump to four spades, but the fact that everyone is bidding suggests someone is light for his action. You should cue-bid three diamonds, planning to bid a forcing three spades next (or cue-bid four diamonds if partner bids three spades). If partner shows no signs of life, give up at four spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 7 5 4 3
 9 5
 A K 5
♣ A 9 8
South West North East
1 Dbl. 2
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Men must be decided on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.

Mencius


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

♠K

Today's deal is all about focusing on the possible things that can go wrong in your four-heart game. Some of them will doom you whatever you do; others will present you with a roadblock that you can hurdle. See which problems you think you can overcome. Of course, the points at issue are bad breaks in the red suits.

Against four hearts the defenders lead the two top spades and shift to the club nine. What now? If diamonds break or the jack falls singleton, you will have nothing to worry about but possible bad trump breaks. What can you do about bad diamond breaks? Not much if West has the shortage, but what if East is the one with short diamonds?

The answer is that a 4-1 diamond break will not be fatal — so long as you are careful. Win the club ace, play the diamond queen, then lead the diamond three toward the king.

If diamonds prove to be 3-2, draw three rounds of trump and hope they are no worse than 4-2. But when as here East has short diamonds, he cannot profitably ruff in, so he may as well pitch a spade.

You win the diamond king, cross to dummy with the heart ace, and lead another diamond. Again East discards, so you win the ace. Now you can ruff a diamond in dummy. Whether East overruffs with his trump trick or discards, you will lose only one trump trick and have 10 winners.


With only one feeble spade stop and no diamond fit, you are best advised to pass three diamonds and hope your partner can find a way home. In this auction, if your partner had wanted to force to game, he could have cue-bid two spades at his second turn, so you should assume he has nothing to spare for his jump.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 8 5 4
 J 10 9 5
 4
♣ K J 5 4
South West North East
1 1♠
Dbl. Pass 3 Pass
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The policeman buys shoes slow and careful; the teamster buys gloves slow and careful; they take care of their feet and hands; they live on their feet and hands.

Carl Sandburg


South North
Neither ♠ Q J 8 7 5
 6
 J 6 4 3
♣ K 6 3
West East
♠ 2
 A K 10 9 5 3
 A 8 5
♣ J 10 9
♠ 9 6
 J 8 4 2
 Q 10 7
♣ 8 5 4 2
South
♠ A K 10 4 3
 Q 7
 K 9 2
♣ A Q 7
South West North East
1♠ 2 4♠ All pass

K

After North's routine pre-emptive raise to game, West cashes the heart king and then shifts to the club jack. Once East follows, how do you propose to make 10 tricks?

After taking the club jack with your ace, you draw trump in two rounds and ruff the heart queen in dummy. Then you cash the club queen and king, ending in the dummy. Now that both hearts and clubs have been eliminated, you lead a low diamond from dummy, intending to cover whichever card lower in rank than the king that East might play.

On the given layout, suppose that East follows with the diamond seven. When you cover this with the nine, West has to win the trick with the ace and your king is set up immediately. Also, it would not help East to play a diamond higher than the seven. If he plays the 10, this will be covered by the king and ace, leaving the jack and nine equals against the defenders’ queen. And, of course, the diamond queen from East would be even less effective.

On another layout West might win the first diamond with the 10. Then he can do nothing but play another diamond (allowing you to make the diamond king) or give you a ruff-and-discard. Thus you will make 10 tricks no matter how the diamond suit lies.

By contrast, if you had played a diamond to the king in today’s layout, West would take it and return a diamond, giving the defense four tricks.


It may look obvious to jump to four spades, but you have a vast number of losers — imagine your partner with queen-fourth of spades and a stray jack. Best is to jump to three spades, which (since even a simple raise to two spades shows a good hand) suggests huge trump support and at least an ace more than a decent opening bid.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K 10 4 3
 Q 7
 K 9 2
♣ A Q 7
South West North East
1♣
Dbl. Pass 1♠ Pass
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise.

Philip Massinger


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

J

In today's deal from a team game, South misjudged both the play and the result that would come through from the other table.

In four hearts on the lead of the diamond jack he put in dummy’s queen. East won the trick and astutely shifted to a spade at trick two. That set up the setting trick for the defenders.

At the scoring-up, when his teammates called out minus 620, South asked suspiciously if West had a led a spade to trick one, or if East had forgotten to shift to a spade at trick two after a diamond lead. East-West denied the charges, and South asked exasperatedly how game had been allowed to make.

Patiently West explained that their declarer had drawn the correct inference at trick one that West would not be leading from the K-J-10 of diamonds with what was surely a safer or equivalent holding in spades, his partner’s suit. Thus East had the diamond king and nothing else. So South found the imaginative play of ducking the first trick in dummy. If East also ducked this, declarer could establish a club as a discard for his spade loser at his leisure, and East could not overtake the lead without setting up the discard at once.

Note that if declarer plays the diamond ace from dummy at trick one, West can underlead in diamonds to East at his next turn, and the defense will still have time for the spade shift.


Since you are facing a passed hand and a partner who could not or did not redouble one diamond, game seems highly unlikely to make. With a balanced hand, and no reason to believe that spades is the wrong strain for your side, it looks right to pass now. While bidding one no-trump may get you into a slightly better strain, it also runs the risk of getting you into a much worse one.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 10
 A 7 3
 J 10 9 6
♣ A 6 5
South West North East
Pass Pass
1 Dbl. 1♠ Pass
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 12th, 2012

Little drops of water
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land.

Julia Carney


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

♠10

Today's deal features a small point of technique that might escape you until you see it in practice.

Against your grand slam in spades (yes, North should simply have shown his heart king over the five-no-trump inquiry) West leads the trump 10, and you count only 12 top winners even if hearts break. You therefore need to take one extra trick from a diamond ruff before you draw trump. You win the trump lead with the king, cross to the diamond ace, and ruff a diamond. You then draw trump, throwing a club from dummy. How best now to tackle the hearts for five tricks?

Just in case West holds four hearts to the jack, you should lead your heart 10 to dummy’s ace. When you continue with a low heart to the queen, East shows out. Because of your earlier unblock, the way is then clear for you to lead the heart four to dummy’s nine. You can then discard a diamond and club on dummy’s established hearts.

You can see what would happen if you had kept the heart 10 in your hand. When you led it on the third round, West would play low. With no side entry to dummy, you would then score three heart tricks instead of five.

(This same unblock would be necessary with five hearts to the A-K-8 facing Q-9-2. To protect against East’s having the bare jack or 10, you must unblock the nine on the first round of the suit.)


On this deal your target should be to win your small trumps singly, rather than letting declarer do the same. Best therefore is to lead the heart queen. If you lead the diamond jack, you may let declarer ruff away your diamond winners. With, for example, ace-fifth in spades, a diamond lead would be more attractive.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 7 5 3
 Q
 J 10 8 3
♣ K 6 3
South West North East
2♠
All pass      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, March 11th, 2012

What is the correct procedure to follow when calling the Tournament Director? I often feel my honesty or competence is being impugned when my opponents do it, and sometimes in calling for the director I fear I may have offended my opponents without meaning to.

Tactful, Kansas City, Mo.

The procedure you should follow when you need a director is to say, "I think we should call the director" and then attract his attention efficiently and discreetly. The act of calling the Director should not cause offense.

My partner held ♠ —,  A-2,  A-7-6-5-3, ♣ A-Q-10-4-3-2. There were two passes to his RHO, who opened two spades. He overcalled three clubs, and when his LHO bid three spades, he passed it out. Obviously this was not a success, but what should he have bid?

Sold Out, Arlington, Texas

I think your partner underbid his hand dramatically. Overcalling three clubs, then bidding again is reasonable (a call of four diamonds is about right), but a direct call of four no-trump for the minors over two spades would also be quite sensible.

Could you suggest an online computer site for bridge? I am interested in finding a place to play and to practice. And I'd be interested in asking questions where I can find sensible responses.

Training-Camp Enlistee, Albany Ga.

Best is bridgebase.com. You can play, watch top-level matches, or practice using their partnership room. And it is free! Two recently opened news sites are bridgewinners.com and bridgetopics.com, both of which have many expert contributors and news-gatherers.

My RHO bid one club, I overcalled one spade, and my LHO doubled. My partner passed, holding ♠ 7-3,  A-Q-9-4-2,  K-10-5-3, ♣ Q-4. Do you agree with his decision to pass? If not, what should he have done?

Silent Partner, Naples, Fla.

He should not bid two hearts, so the choice seems to be pass, redouble (if that simply shows a good hand) or pass and plan to balance with a double of two clubs. The delayed action would suggest a weaker suit and allow partner to correct, if necessary.

We are planning to enter a Swiss Team event for the first time, but I am not sure how the format works. Please explain it to me.

Heidi, Pueblo, Colo.

In each Swiss Team match, scoring is by Victory Points, meaning that you convert your team's win or loss on each deal into a narrower scale than total points. Instead of playing every other team in the event, you have a random draw for the first match, and from then on you play a team that has achieved close to the same cumulative results as you. A day will consist of seven or eight matches of approximately eight boards each.


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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Split the lark and you'll find the music,
Bulb after bulb, in silver rolled,
Scantily dealt to the summer morning,
Saved for your ear when lutes be old.

Emily Dickinson


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

♠3

When you're a truly great player, even if you have a complete bidding misunderstanding and end up in a dreadful contract, you can still focus and play for your best chance. In today's deal Bob Hamman managed to bid himself to the less-than-optimum contract of six diamonds. (Let's blame his partner.)

West started with a low spade to dummy’s king, and Hamman ruffed away East’s ace. He then played a diamond to the king, a diamond to the jack, and the diamond ace: one hurdle negotiated successfully.

He then cashed three rounds of hearts and exited with a low club. East won his singleton jack, perforce, and now had to give dummy three spade tricks (one more than declarer needed at this stage).

Very nicely played, but can you see how the defenders could have scuppered his plan?

West had (or should have had) a count of the whole deal. He knew declarer had started with a void in spades, four hearts (his partner having played up the line to show an odd number), and five diamonds. Therefore, he had four clubs. He could not possibly have started with A-Q-J-x in clubs or he would have discarded one on the spade queen when he had the chance. Consequently, East must have the singleton club jack or queen. In either case, West should go in with the club king, crashing his partner’s honor, and return the 10, thus ensuring a fourth-round trick for himself in the suit.


If ever a hand with four trump looked like one with only three, this is it. You would rather slow down the auction than encourage partner to do any more bidding than he feels compelled to. So just raise to two hearts and do not feel obligated to compete any further until partner shows signs of life.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K Q 10 9
 8 7 3 2
 K 6
♣ 8 4 3
South West North East
1 1 Dbl.
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 9th, 2012

Achievement, noun. The death of endeavor and the birth of disgust.

Ambrose Bierce


East North
Neither ♠ J 7 5
 Q 5 4
 A K J 8 3
♣ A 9
West East
♠ 9 6 2
 J 2
 7 2
♣ K Q J 8 4 2
♠ A
 K 10 9 8 7
 Q 10 9 4
♣ 10 7 5
South
♠ K Q 10 8 4 3
 A 6 3
 6 5
♣ 6 3
South West North East
2*
2♠ Pass 3 Pass
3♠ Pass 4♠ All pass

*Hearts and a minor, 6-10

♣K

David Gold, a regular on the England Open team, sat South in this deal at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club. This club has a good claim to be one of the strongest in the world. Duplicates take place every weekday and it would not be unusual to find half a dozen internationals playing on any evening.

After East opened two hearts to show at least five cards in the major together with an unspecified four-card minor, Gold became declarer in four spades.

West led the club king to dummy’s ace, as the club five appeared from East. It seemed likely that East’s second suit was diamonds, and if East also had the heart king, there would be four losers. The only suit likely to provide a discard was diamonds.

Gold cashed dummy’s top diamonds, then took the precaution of ruffing a third diamond high in hand as West discarded. The spade queen lost to East’s ace and back came the club 10, overtaken by West for a heart return, Gold taking his ace.

Now, aware that East held nine red cards and was likely to have three cards in clubs, both from East’s carding up the line and West’s silence in the auction, Gold placed East with the singleton trump ace.

Backing his judgment, he continued by finessing dummy’s spade seven, ruffed another diamond high, and now a trump to the jack allowed him to discard a heart on the established fifth diamond.


In this sort of auction a bid of three hearts — a repeat use of the fourth-suit — is best used not as a red two-suiter, but as a way to ask for a half stop in hearts. If you had both red suits, you would surely simply bid three no-trump now, so your partner should bid no-trump with any three-card heart suit — even three small hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 7 5
 Q 5 4
 A K J 8 3
♣ A 9
South West North East
1♣ Pass
1 Pass 1♠ Pass
2 Pass 3♣ Pass
?      

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.