Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

In married life three is company and two none.

Oscar Wilde


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

Q

In today's deal North first showed a limit raise, then indirectly defined his hand by suggesting three no-trump as a final contract. Notwithstanding that, South felt he was worth a slam try of four clubs, and as soon as he found the heart control opposite, he drove to slam, assuming that his partner must have a top spade for his no-trump call at his second turn.

The small slam certainly looks like a fine spot, but the bad trump break complicated matters somewhat. However, South was equal to the task.

The opening lead of the heart queen was taken in dummy, and a low trump was led to South’s queen, disclosing the bad split.

When West discarded, South led out the diamond king and surrendered the trick to West’s ace. Back came a spade, which declarer won in dummy. He next ruffed a diamond low, then had to take the risk of crossing to a second spade in dummy to ruff another diamond. Now came the club ace and two more rounds of trump, extracting all of East’s clubs. This produced a three-card ending, in which dummy had the spade three and diamond jack, plus a small heart, while South discarded his spade ace to retain three hearts. West could not discard his spade jack or diamond queen without setting up a winner in dummy for a repeating squeeze on himself, so he pitched a heart. Declarer now led to his heart king and cashed his two remaining hearts to bring home the slam.


Had you doubled in direct seat and heard partner respond one heart, you would surely have passed now. With the diamond king not pulling its full weight, you would be unwise to indicate you had real extras. But your partner could easily have up to a 10-count and might do no more than bid one heart when facing a balancing double. So you should make a mild invitation to game by raising to two hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 7 5
 K 10 7 4
 K
♣ K Q 5 4 2
South West North East
1 Pass Pass
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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

Winston Churchill


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

A

In today's deal South was looking at a complex hand when he heard his partner jump to two no-trump to show the minors. On the plus side for defense he had a void in one of his partner's two suits, and additionally he had the ace and king of hearts in a suit where he knew his partner was likely to be short. As against that, the vulnerability was right to try to push the opponents around, and he did have a big fit for diamonds. That was enough to tempt him to jump all the way to game. West doubled, and found the incisive lead of ace and another trump. (Had he not done so, declarer would have developed the play on crossruff lines and collected 12 tricks if he judged the play well.)

After the repeated trump leads, declarer has only 10 top tricks (two hearts, one spade and seven trumps) because of the bad heart break. Can you see what declarer should do to overcome this defense?

Declarer won the second trump on board and immediately passed the heart 10 around to West’s jack. West tried the club king next, but declarer ruffed and cashed the heart ace and king, throwing clubs from dummy.

Next came the heart nine for a ruffing finesse against West’s queen. West could cover, but declarer’s remaining hearts in hand were good. Declarer had established the extra heart winner for his 11th trick.


When partner responds one spade to one heart, you are encouraged to raise to two spades with three trumps and a ruffing value –so long as that call looks more appropriate than a one-no-trump rebid. Here, with useful stoppers in both minors and with weak spades, the one-no-trump call looks more descriptive. Interchange the diamond ace and spade jack, and I'd raise spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 9 6
 Q J 7 6 4
 A 6
♣ K Q 7
South West North East
1 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, April 1st, 2013

Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.

Henry David Thoreau


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

♣9

One of aspect of constructive bidding that frequently challenges beginners is the idea that when you have shown extra shape in the auction, you are then not obligated to continue showing the same feature of your hand. Instead, as in today's deal, once you have shown spades and diamonds, as South, and partner has suggested heart length and strength, why not try no-trump?

As you can see, trying for nine tricks in no-trump might have been the easiest way to bring home a game today, but South elected to rebid diamonds at his third turn, and soon found himself in the perfectly reasonable contract of five diamonds — doubled by East on general suspicion rather than anything else. Against the suit game West kicked off with the club nine. East took the ace and returned the suit, South’s queen winning. The main danger to the contract now was the threat of a club ruff.

To sidestep the danger, declarer cashed the spade ace and ruffed a spade. The fall of East’s jack simplified the play. Declarer threw the club king on the heart ace, then played the diamond king. East took his ace and played a club. However, South simply ruffed high, drew trump, and claimed.

Even if the spade jack had not fallen, declarer would have been decently placed by relying on a 4-3 spade break.


This is a close decision. Should you lead the club queen, playing for ruffs or to set up partner's suit, or a relatively passive spade, looking not to give anything away? With a seven-count, you know your side has half the deck, which argues for going passive. You can always be a hero tomorrow.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 7 4
 9 7 2
 A J 5 3 2
♣ Q 8
South West North East
1♣ 1
Pass 2♣ Pass 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, March 31st, 2013

After your LHO opens one club and your partner doubles, your RHO bids one heart. You hold ♠ J-8-2,  K-9-4,  K-3, ♣ A-9-5-4-2. How would you plan to develop the auction?

Decked Out, Newark, N.J.

There do seem to be a lot of points in this deck. I’d guess not to try for game but simply to bid one no-trump and await (hope for) further developments. I’m guessing the opponents cannot make anything — I’d like to get a chance to double them.

It occurred to me that when I am on the road a lot, I never seem to find a magazine on the subject of bridge. I would enjoy reading about different hands and how to play them as well as what is going on currently in the competitive world of bridge. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Finder’s Fee, Greenbrae, Calif.

Bridge magazines come in all shapes and sizes, but they are becoming fewer and farther between as printing costs rise. Bridge Magazine in the U.K. and Bridge World in the U.S. are the two leading publications. Google these two names and you will find plenty of material — and of course the ACBL magazine has a lot of good material too.

What do you believe is the right approach to responding when partner balances with a call of one no-trump after an opening bid is passed around to him? If you assume, as I currently do, that the range for this action might be 11-15 points, then Stayman on its own doesn’t seem to address the wide range one might be facing.

Checked Off, Grand Forks, N.D.

You might use a two-club response to guarantee game-invitational values, and for the overcaller to respond at the two-level with a minimum hand, and bid at the three-level with a maximum hand. Alternatively, you can respond two diamonds with any minimum hand, any other bid at the two-level showing a medium hand, and any call at the three-level showing a maximum hand.

I had the following unremarkable hand: ♠ 8-6-2,  J-9-4,  K-Q-5, ♣ Q-10-9-6 and heard the auction (at favorable vulnerability) start with a four-heart call from my partner and a four-spade bid to my right. I tried five hearts (would you have done so?), and now came six spades to my left! What would you bid? If you passed it out, what would you lead?

Saving Grace, Muncie, Ind.

I would surely pass this out and lead a heart, hoping my minor honors might be enough to take two tricks even if our side has no heart tricks. Sacrificing is generally a mug’s game.

Why is it at duplicate bridge, that if declarer has honors, they do not get points for him as they would in party bridge?

Settled Out of Court, Union City, Tenn.

In some tournaments they do — but only those played for total points. I think playing honors in duplicate would be fun — but the rules of duplicate bridge generally mean that everyone who has the same hand gets the honors. This is somewhat misguided, but we are not going to change the minds of tournament organizers after such a long time.


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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 30th, 2013

Promise the earth to counter shine
Whatever makes heaven’s forehead fine.

Richard Crashaw


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

J

Today’s deal features several rather subtle points in the play. The auction to three no-trump was straightforward enough, but the final contract was a very unattractive one. The risk of the defenders cashing four hearts and a spade was a high one — and as it turned out, the spade blockage generated other additional problems.

After West led the heart jack East cashed the queen, king and ace, on which West had the opportunity to signal suit preference. By following up the line, with the four then nine, he was strongly suggesting no spade honor. Since East could infer that declarer rated to have his precise distribution, he thoughtfully shifted to a club. When declarer saw what might happen if he played a spade at once (East would win and play a second club to leave the spades blocked), he found an unlikely resource by leading the diamond 10 to his king. Then he played the spade king. East won and continued with his plan by returning a second club. Declarer ran all the clubs, pitching his spade queen, and came down to a three-card ending with the doubleton spade jack and a small diamond in dummy, and the heart eight and the diamond K-9 in hand. East could keep his diamonds but West (forced to keep the doubleton spade 10 and the master heart) had to pitch his last diamond.

Now declarer led out the spade jack to pitch his heart, then finessed the diamond nine for his contract.


It looks best to me to double here rather than overcall in diamonds. That way you get hearts into the picture, and although your diamond suit is respectable, it is not quite good enough for a two-level overcall — especially when you have such a desirable alternative available. If partner picks clubs, let him play there.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K Q
 8 7 5 3
 A K 9 6 4
♣ 7 6
South West North East
1♠
?      

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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 29th, 2013

Logic must take care of itself.

Ludwig Wittgenstein


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

♠2

The opposition bidding frequently leads declarer toward the winning line. In today’s deal, however, although that should have been the case, the best play was only discovered in the post mortem.

Against three no-trump West led a low spade to the 10 and queen, and now with six top tricks, declarer hoped that hearts, via a 3-3 break, might furnish the other three. A heart to the jack lost to the ace and back came a spade, removing declarer’s last stopper in that suit. When hearts proved to be 4-2, South cashed the club ace then entered dummy with the diamond ace and ran the club 10. It lost, and the spade return saw the speedy demise of the game.

In view of East’s opening bid, South was unlucky to find the club queen offside. But, unless East’s opening bid was an out-and-out psyche, declarer could have guaranteed the contract by entering dummy with the diamond ace and leading the heart four toward his queen. If East rises with the ace, declarer has three heart tricks, to bring the trick count up to the requisite nine.

And if East plays low, the queen wins, and declarer can turn his attention to clubs, where four tricks are always available by playing low to the 10. (Although at pairs, cashing the ace and king would give you a shot at 10 tricks if the queen lies singleton or doubleton, that play would not cater for a 5-1 or 6-0 break.)


At any form of scoring I would recommend a double here. This suggests extra defense, but does not stop your partner from removing to three spades with an unsuitable hand for defending. Imagine your partner with nothing more than the club ace-king and you surely have five top tricks!

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 7 4 3
 K J 4
 A 9 7 6 3
♣ 10 4
South West North East
1♠ 2
2♠ Pass Pass 3
?      

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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, March 28th, 2013

He was in Logic a great Critic,
Profoundly skilled in Analytic.
He could distinguish, and divide
A Hair ‘twixt South and South-West side….

Samuel Butler


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

♣Q

Against four spades West leads the club queen, which holds the trick. West then thoughtfully continues with the club 10 to your ace. Everyone follows when you cash the trump ace. What now?

At the table, after winning the club ace, one declarer drew two rounds of trump with the ace and king, discovering the 4-1 break. Next he played on diamonds, but West held up his ace until the third round, then exited with a trump to the dummy’s 10. The contract could no longer be made, since dummy had no more entries and West was poised to ruff a fourth round of diamonds. Declarer had to try a heart, hoping that East held both honors, but it was not to be, and so declarer could not avoid losing four tricks.

The declarer at the second table showed better technique. The first two tricks were the same, but instead of drawing two rounds of trump, he cashed the trump ace, then played on diamonds. Like his counterpart, this West held up the ace until the third round, then exited with a trump, taken by dummy�s 10. Declarer now played a good diamond and threw one of his heart losers. West could do no better than ruff and try a heart. Declarer took East’s queen with the ace and crossed to dummy by playing a trump to the king, drawing West’s last trump. He then cashed the fifth diamond to dispose of his remaining heart and claimed 10 tricks.


Once you overcall, you can never have a hand good enough to want to play no-trump in a competitive auction if facing a passing partner. So what does your partner have, if the call is not natural? Surely he has both minors with longer clubs, and enough values to want to compete, probably a 4-5 or 4-6 pattern. Bid three diamonds and be prepared to compete to four diamonds if necessary.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 10 3
 J 3 2
 Q J 10 8 3
♣ 9 3
South West North East
1 2♣ 2
Pass Pass 2 NT 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

‘Will you walk into my parlor?’
Said the Spider to the Fly….

Mary Howitt


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

*15-17

♣K

Any contract that will make if a finesse succeeds cannot be considered hopeless. Sometimes, though, the auction will tell you that there has to be some better chance because the bidding has converted your 50 percent play into a no-hoper. Put yourself in South's shoes to see if you can spot the improvement.

When Denmark played Canada in the Venice Cup a decade ago, both declarers (Francine Cimon and Trine Bilde) reached three no-trump and knew that the auction had indicated that the heart finesse would fail. They ducked the first two clubs and worked out that West had the long club from the defensive signals.

They won the third club and decided against trying to find a favorable heart distribution (such as playing East for the singleton or doubleton jack). Instead, they cashed the diamond ace and king, then the two top spades, and exited with the fourth club. At this point West had nothing but hearts left and had to lead into declarer’s acequeen to concede the ninth trick.

As you can see, the natural play might seem to be for declarer to win the second or third round of clubs and cash all the spade winners, but then there is no way back to hand to endplay West in clubs. To succeed, declarer needs to find West with relatively short spades and diamonds; but the auction has made that virtually a racing certainty.


Jumps by passed hands facing an overcall should not be natural and weak. North would have opened two spades or would have bid one spade over one heart; so pre-empting by a passed hand makes no sense. A far better agreement to have is that the jump is a fit jump — a classic hand would be five spades to the ace-queen, plus four small hearts. With a minimum, you should therefore sign off in three hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 6
 K J 9 7 3
 10 4
♣ K Q J 10
South West North East
Pass 1
1 Pass 2♠ 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

A mortified appetite is never a wise companion.

Robert Louis Stevenson


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

♠J

Today’s contract of three no-trump sees West lead the spade jack, and — following general principles — you duck the trick. Spades appear to be the only danger suit, and ducking starts to cut the defenders’ communications.

East overtakes with the queen and advances the spade king, which you duck again. If the defenders continued with a third spade you would knock out the diamond queen, knowing that there is no danger from the spades; but as the cards lie East cannot continue with a third spade; instead he shifts to the heart 10, and now you appear to be home free.

But beware! If you win the first heart and play three rounds of diamonds, West will win and exit with a spade, locking you in dummy and cutting you off from your second heart winner. And if you cash the second top heart, West will unblock the queen and you are again doomed to go down.

Having identified the problem, no doubt you will have spotted the solution. After winning the heart king at trick three, simply play the diamond ace and then lead a low diamond. When West wins the diamond queen (and he might well duck!) he cannot simultaneously dislodge dummy�s spade and club aces. The best he can do is clear the spades, but you can arrange to cross back to hand with the diamond king, cash your heart winner, and go back over to dummy with the club ace to run the diamonds.


If you have a transfer to diamonds, make the call, planning to follow up with three hearts. This, by partnership agreement, should suggest a singleton heart, letting partner choose which game he wants to play. (With long diamonds and four hearts you would start with Stayman, of course.) If you don’t play this, simply bid three no-trump directly, as in our 52-card diagram today.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 5 4
 J
 J 9 7 5 3 2
♣ A 10 8
South West North East
1 NT 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 25th, 2013

If a man could bite the giant hand
That catches and destroys him,
As I was bitten by a rat
While demonstrating my patent trap….

Robert Fulton Tanner


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

3

Having a nasty surprise for the declarer in the trump suit may be sufficient grounds for doubling the final contract, but by alerting declarer to the bad break, you may provide a blueprint on how the hand should be played.

In today’s deal, having given a restrained preference to two spades, North could hardly be faulted for going on to game when South issued a somewhat dubious invitation. West doubled and led the diamond three; declarer took East’s king with the ace. Alerted by the double, declarer left trump well alone, and prepared for a diamond ruff by returning the diamond jack at trick two, making sure that East could not gain the lead and switch to a trump.

West won and tried the effect of switching to a cunning club six. Declarer put up dummy’s ace and played the heart queen, covered by the king and ace. He ruffed his last diamond, returned to hand with the heart jack, and ruffed a heart. Then he trumped a club, revealing West’s deception, and ruffed his last heart with dummy’s remaining trump.

Declarer was now down to the spade K-Q-9-6 while West had his four trumps left, and dummy was reduced to just clubs. With eight tricks in the bag, declarer played a club and ruffed it with his spade queen. West overruffed with the spade ace and returned the jack, but declarer ducked and left West on play to lead into declarer’s spade tenace. Contract made!


This is a blind guess. You could sell me on a passive diamond lead (the five) or an aggressive heart lead. I would surely not lead a spade, and a club looks just too likely to cost a trick. In an auction where the opponents appear to have no values to spare, there is much to be said for going passive.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 5 4
 Q 9 4
 5 3 2
♣ K 10 8
South West North East
1♠ Pass 1 NT
Pass 2♠ Pass 2 NT
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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.