Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, June 10th, 2012

If you play four-suit transfers, why would you also play transfers at the four-level, and what should you use direct three-level actions to mean?

System Geek, Janesville, Wis.

If we have a way to show each of the four suits unambiguously via a transfer, I suggest all the available three-level actions be used to show both minors (three diamonds is 5-5, three hearts and three spades show fragments in that major, 5-4 one way or the other in the minors), all game-forcing.

With ♠ A-Q-5-3,  Q-10-2,  A-J-4, ♣ J-5-2, I assume you would open one club as I did. After a one-heart overcall and a two-heart cue-bid, what would you expect your partner to hold, and what would you do now?

All Points, Houston, Texas

The two-heart call shows club support and at least a limit raise. With a heart stop (however delicate) and a decent minimum opening bid, the problem is whether to jump to three no-trump to show that extra queen at the risk of pre-empting scientific exploration of the hand. I'd risk it, but without the heart 10, I might just bid two no-trump.

I want to make myself a more difficult declarer to play against. Do you have any simple tips to make the play harder for my opponents?

Getting Tough, Muncie, Ind.

How about this simple one? As declarer consider following suit with the second smallest of your small cards and concealing one small card. When winning the trick, always win with the highest of equals, but win with the king from A-K at trick one in no-trump. These plays should make it harder for the opponents to read their partners' length and honor holdings.

I was watching a game of duplicate bridge on the Internet when a player made what looked like an odd decision to me. Holding ♠ A-4,  Q-10-7-6-5,  Q-5-3, ♣ Q-9-3, he heard two spades on his left, doubled by his partner. He bid three hearts and was raised to game — but I expected that he would have bid four hearts himself and not left it to his partner to drive to game. Any comments?

Pressure Cooker, Worcester, Mass.

Perhaps the partnership played that with a weak hand (regardless of shape) they would respond two no-trump to the double as an artificial admission of weakness. So in that case maybe the three-heart bid would show some values, even though it was nonforcing?

If this is not an embarrassing question, would you comment on what kinds of mistakes even the best players find themselves making?

Golden Slipper, Little Rock, Ark.

Some errors are caused by distraction, others by being impatient and therefore overlooking clues to the location of the opponents' cards, both as declarer and defender. Strangely, many say that this fault increases with age, but in my case it has always been something that I have tried to wrestle with, and is not necessarily any worse now than before. A failure to study the opponents' methods in advance in a long match will often impact your ability to judge the competitive auctions well — and a lot of IMPs ride on those decisions.


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, June 9th, 2012

The Kings go by with jewelled crowns;
Their horses gleam, their banners shake, their spears are many.

John Masefield


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

*Splinter in support of spades

♣A

J. David King, who notched his 10,000th masterpoint in 1993 at the Fall National Tournament, brought home a very difficult contract against Alan and Ellen Siebert here. King's partner was Marguerite Holley.

Declaring five spades, King ruffed the second round of clubs and led the spade queen. With this type of layout, it is imperative to lead high from the hand with one honor to protect against the very situation that existed here, namely all four trumps with East. (West could not hold four spades after his unusual no-trump.) King continued with the spade10, covered by the jack and won with the king.

It is not too common to finesse in a suit where you have no natural loser, but King knew that he was going to have to find a way to dispose of all of his diamonds. The chances were that he was going to run into a 5-0 break. So he took a heart finesse, and next picked up trumps by leading to the eight and then cashing the ace.

Now came the diamond queen, covered by the king and won with the ace — and sure enough, West had all the diamonds. King cashed the heart ace, pitching a diamond, and ruffed a heart, drawing the last nondiamond card from West. Finally, he led a diamond toward dummy’s seven, and West was helpless. She won with the nine, but then had to lead away from the 10-6 into the J-8.


Even though you have a minimum hand for the auction, it is mandatory that you cuebid four diamonds here. It is arguable that you might bypass cuebidding diamonds if you had a minimum hand with a second-round diamond control, but here the cuebid of four diamonds does not show extras, because it does not take you past game-level.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 4 3
 A Q J 7 5
 A 7 3
♣ J
South West North East
1 Pass 1♠ Pass
3♠ Pass 4♣ 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: Friday, June 8th, 2012

Lift up a people from the dust,
Trump of their rescue, sound!

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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

♣5

The U.S. Senior Trials were held last summer to select the two American teams to go to Veldhoven in October. Today we shall see Peter Weichsel at the helm, rescuing his team. This deal occurred in the last set of a match that went to overtime and that Peter's team dragged out of the fire. So this board was critical. In the other room Peter's teammates had defended against four spades. Hemant Lall had balanced with a three-spade bid over a three-heart pre-empt and had been raised to game. There was nothing to the play; declarer lost just two trump tricks and collected 650.

The auction from our featured room was as shown. When Weichsel bid three no-trump over three spades, his partner, Mark Lair, quite reasonably passed, and Bob Hamman on lead selected a low club, an incisive shot. Weichsel won in dummy, led a spade to the nine and queen, won the club return, then tested spades and found the bad news.

Declarer now cashed off four rounds of diamonds ending in dummy and was up to seven tricks. Since West had a fistful of black-suit winners and was known to have begun with a singleton heart, what distribution should declarer play for? A singleton heart honor would have been useless to him, so declarer played a low heart from dummy, and when Bart Bramley correctly played low, Weichsel put in the 10! That was his ninth trick, and it kept his side in the hunt.


The cue-bid of three diamonds is looking for a stopper for no-trump, so you have the choice of bidding three no-trump or bidding hearts at the three- or four-level. Even though a three no-trump bid might indirectly guarantee that your raise was based on four trumps, it looks simpler just to bid four hearts. But a call of three no-trump might work, I suppose.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 9
 A 10 8 3
 A 9 2
♣ 9 8 7 2
South West North East
1♣ 1 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.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Lord Finchley tried to mend the electric light
Himself. It struck him dead: and serve him right!
It is the business of the wealthy man
To give employment to the artisan.

Hilaire Belloc


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

Your choice!

The deals this week all come from the trials that allowed my team to qualify for the Senior Bowl in Veldhoven last fall. We fell behind in the early going, then recovered with the aid of deals like the following one.

At our table, the developments were unremarkable after West dealt and passed. With an awkward hand and marginal opening-bid values, I opened my long suit, clubs, and a contested auction saw us play five diamonds. My partner, Dan Morse, was at the helm, and since East had shown long spades, he tackled trumps by playing the diamond ace first, and now had no problem bringing home 11 tricks. That looked like a normal result, one that was likely to be duplicated at the other table if the contract was five of a minor.

However, the auction was as shown, with South declaring three no-trump. But look at how the cards lie for declarer: if West leads a heart, there are nine top winners; and on the lead of a low spade, declarer will come home in his game because of the spade blockage.

However, cometh the hour, cometh the man. Fred Hamilton on lead selected the spade king as his opening salvo! When Arnie Fisher encouraged with the 10, Hamilton played the spade jack to Fisher’s ace, and that let the defenders take the first six tricks.


Whenever the opponents come to a stop at a low level and you have unexpressed high cards or shape, you should consider bidding on. Despite the fact that West's sequence suggests length in your suits, you should bid two diamonds. I can't guarantee that you do have an eight-card fit, but it just feels right to bid here.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 2
 A J 7 5 4
 K J 10 7
♣ K 7
South West North East
1♣
1 1 NT Pass 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, June 6th, 2012

The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.

Samuel Smiles


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

♠8

When our team qualified for the Senior Bowl in Veldhoven last June, we needed to beat the very strong Lynch team in the finals. Our team went down 50 IMPs early on, then recovered to win by a landslide. This deal occurred in the set where we pulled back almost all of the deficit, and it demonstrates that when in doubt, one should bid one more. You never know what the consequences might be!

At our teammates’ table, Arnie Fisher (East) and Fred Hamilton bid to four hearts after East had made a weak jump overcall of two spades over one club. The defenders made no mistake: They cashed two spades and shifted to a diamond, setting up the defense’s fourth winner before the clubs could be established.

At my table my partner Dan Morse (East) made a simple overcall of one spade over a Precision one-diamond opening, and South made a negative double. I guessed to jump to four spades as a calculated overbid, in the hope that something good would happen — and it did!

No one had anything more to say, and the defenders tried to cash two heart tricks, letting Morse ruff, draw trumps, and establish the diamonds to get his two club losers away.

Yes, a club shift at trick two would have defeated the game, but can you blame South for misreading the position? A club switch might be right if partner discourages at trick one – but I must admit I too would probably have got this wrong.


This is a sequence where you would have been happy to bid one heart over one diamond, but now would be forced to introduce hearts at the two-level. To make this call you need to have the values associated with a reverse (about an ace more than this hand). That being the case, you have to pass now and rely on your partner to reopen with extra values.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 5
 Q 8 7 3
 A 5
♣ K Q 10 5 3
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends…

Lennon and McCartney


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

5

I apologize in advance for this personal set of deals this week from last year's Senior Trials, but most of them show my teammates in a good light rather than me.

Here is one example. In this deal I played three no-trump after introducing my clubs as a passed hand. I received the lead of the heart five and decided to rise with the ace in case East won the heart king and shifted to a spade, which I thought could set up too many winners for the defenders.

I cashed the diamond ace at trick two to find exceedingly bad news. Hoping for the best, I ran the club queen, which held, then led out the diamond 10 to West’s queen. Back came a heart to West’s king, and the defenders cleared hearts, leaving me with just eight tricks. Although there was no legitimate play for nine tricks, this looked like a depressing result, but fortunately I had teammates to help me out.

In the other room South opened three clubs and North used Blackwood, driving to slam. East, Arnie Fisher, found a Lightner double for the diamond lead, and South (in need of a swing) redoubled. West, Fred Hamilton obediently led a diamond, and Fisher ruffed and returned a trump. Declarer went up with the ace and cleared the trumps, but still had to lose a trick in the majors for a penalty of 1000 and a gain for our team of 14 IMPs.


This is a minimum for a game-forcing jump-shift to two spades, showing five-plus diamonds and four spades. With a singleton heart and doubleton club, I might take the pessimistic decision to rebid one spade. But as it is, I think the jump to two spades gets the whole hand off my chest at one go — never a bad idea.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 10 6 2
 A 9
 A K J 10 5 4
♣ Q
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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 4th, 2012

Sorrow knocked at my door, but I was afraid;
Ambition called to me, but I dreaded the chances.

Edgar Lee Masters


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

♠5

The U.S. Bridge Federation is running its trials this week to select the team for the 2012 Olympiad Tournament. To mark the occasion, I shall be running a few deals from last year's event, in which my team qualified for the Senior Bowl in Veldhoven.

In today’s deal my partner, Dan Morse (East), opened one spade and I raised to two spades over the one-no-trump overcall, and played there. Against two spades, the defenders accurately led a heart, but ducked their diamond ace. So Dan was able to get a heart loser away on the club ace and hold his losers to two trumps and one in each red-suit, for plus 140.

In the other room the auction went as shown, with Arnie Fisher competing over two spades with two no-trump, and Fred Hamilton moving on to game. The defenders led a spade to the ace and returned the suit. Hamilton knocked out the heart ace, won the third spade, and led the club king from hand. Once he had guessed clubs, the defenders had just one trick in each suit, and Hamilton had nine tricks.

Did you notice the defenders’ slip? At trick one East must put in the spade jack, then win the heart ace to return a low spade. Now West will win his club ace and play the third spade to East, who can cash out for down one. (And had East ducked the heart ace smoothly, might declarer have — fatally — switched his attention to clubs?)


With two attractive leads to choose from, I'd go for the diamonds rather than a spade. Just because your RHO has bid the suit doesn't mean that it won't be possible for you to set up the suit on defense. Unless dummy puts down three cards to an honor, the lead won't blow a trick — and even then, you might still survive the lead.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 5 4 2
 10 6 3
 Q J 10 2
♣ A 3
South West North East
1
Pass 1 Pass 1 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

At matchpoint pairs I am often tempted to open one no-trump and bid again in competition when I have a five-carder. What are the pros and cons of this approach?

Come Again, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

In a sense the no-trump opener passes captaincy to his partner after he opens, but there are so many variations of strength and shape that you should never feel restrained about acting again — especially by reopening with a takeout double after intervention, when you have a small doubleton in their suit. I do normally compete again by bidding a decent five-card suit when I can get it in. Even if the opponents can catch me, they don't always know that.

When my partner opened two clubs, I had almost an opening bid. I held ♠ A-4,  K-7-5-2,  Q-9-8-5-3, ♣ K-10 and responded two no-trump to keep the bidding lower than it would have been after a three-diamond response. After the deal my partner suggested that I might have lied with a two-diamond response, to hear what he had to say. What do you think?

String Theory, Staten Island, N.Y.

I can see where your partner was coming from. The problem hands in response to a two-club opening come when you don't know whether to go to slam. Here you know you will end in slam, so you don't have to show your values yet. Turn the heart king into a small one and I can see why you might bid two no-trump to get your values across.

My partner opened three clubs, the next hand doubled, and I bid three hearts with four small clubs and four hearts to the ace-queen, thinking I wanted a heart lead. When the next hand jumped to four spades, my partner bid five hearts with jack-third of hearts and we played six clubs doubled — down one trick too many! Was he naïve to trust me here?

Fool Me Once, Salinas, Calif.

He was right to bid on, but wrong to bid five hearts. In this auction, which in my book definitely promises club tolerance, he can bid five clubs with a partial club fit and four no-trump with a real heart fit, letting you pick the strain.

You are in third chair with ♠ Q-9-3-2,  A-4,  7-6-5-2, ♣ Q-5-3. Your partner opens one heart, and the next hand doubles. What would you do?

Head Cook, Panama City, Fla.

This hand is too good to pass and back in. I'd prefer a straightforward call of one no-trump, burying the spades on the grounds that we may not want to find a fit even if we have one. This call shows the upper range for the action in a noncompetitive sequence, say a good seven to 10 points, and it leaves partner well placed for bidding on if necessary.

One of the problems I have at no-trump is that after my lead is taken by declarer, who switches to his suit, I do not know what signals my partnership and I should use at this trick. Do we use attitude, count, or suit-preference?

Wigwagger, Detroit, Mich.

Never signal attitude on declarer's leads. You do not need to announce that declarer has made a mistake. If he has erred, you will already be ahead of the field. Signal count only if you think partner needs to know (he often will). Otherwise, your carding should be suit preference, but a useful signal to have up your sleeve is the Smith Echo, which in cases of doubt suggests to partner whether to lead your suit back or shift. More on that anon; details can be found 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

The great tragedy of Science — the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.

T.H. Huxley


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

* Semi-positive values

8

Today's deal sees South in a delicate no-trump slam, having carefully avoided the pitfall of playing six hearts, where the defenders can crossruff the first five tricks. Against six no-trump West finds the passive heart lead and declarer has 10 top winners. He can establish a spade trick easily enough, but if he assumes West has all the high spades, he will need to create an endplay or a squeeze for the 12th trick.

Most simple squeezes involve trying to take the rest of the tricks, but where, as here, one trick has to be lost after pressure is applied, the position is often more difficult to see.

The first step in the process is easy enough. Declarer cashes four rounds of hearts, then sets out on the clubs. West can discard two spades on the hearts without discomfort. However, the four rounds of clubs do put West under pressure. He lets go two spades early, then a painful diamond, but in the six-card ending, he has three diamonds and three spades left. What should he do now? Since a spade is obviously fatal, West must hope his partner has the diamond jack, so let’s go a diamond.

Now declarer cashes the diamond ace and king, reducing West down to his three spades. Declarer then leads a spade to his king, which West must win and lead a spade away from his jack. Declarer runs the spade around to his hand and has the rest of the tricks.


When you hold a balanced 10-count facing a minimum opening bid, your first reaction should not be to try for game. Reasons to bid on include extra trump length, a long side-suit or support for partner. In this case you have no aces and no support for partner's original suit, so pass looks clear-cut.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 3 2
 Q J 10 6
 K 10 7 2
♣ Q 4
South West North East
1♣ Pass
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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 1st, 2012

One man who has a mind and knows it can always beat 10 men who haven't and don't.

G.B. Shaw


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

*Second negative

♣K

Bridge is a strange game. Why on earth would it be easier to make four hearts in today's deal than four spades? If you do fall by accident into four hearts, you would ruff the club lead, cash the heart ace, then run the spades. That way you simply give up the three trump tricks to West. But in the real world, you will play four spades.

You ruff the top club lead, then take the spade ace and king. If trumps split, you will find it easy to make 11 tricks, but when trumps divide 3-1, it would be very easy, but fatal, to draw a third round of trumps.

If you do that, then play ace and another heart, West will win and tap you for a second time with another club, and again when he gets in with the third heart. You are now out of trumps and can never score your fifth heart.

Instead, you must play ace and another heart before playing a third trump. If hearts break, you can ruff the next club and draw the last trump before playing a third heart. But if hearts also break badly, you can ruff the second club, give up a heart, ruff a third club, and ruff the fourth heart in dummy.

East can overruff for the defenders’ third trick, but the contract still succeeds — since you have only winners left, together with one trump.


There is some temptation to jump to four no-trump as a way to show the minors, but maybe a simple call of four diamonds is enough. And certainly if North has a very strong heart one-suiter, he would prefer to buy the hand at the four-level, rather than go higher unnecessarily.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 5 4
 5
 Q J 8 3 2
♣ A 10 8 4
South West North East
2♠ Dbl. 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.