Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

There is only one kind of shock worse than the totally unexpected: the expected for which one has refused to prepare.

Mary Renault


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

4

Sam Loyd, the American puzzler, was adept at posing puzzles that produced unexpected answers. With that in mind, consider this deal from the pairs at the St. Louis Nationals. At double-dummy, three no-trump by East looks to be playable — though only because of the 7-0 diamond break, of course. You need only a smidgen of luck in the clubs and hearts, but do not appear to be in luck today. However, three no-trump did indeed make on the deal when Mark Feldman was North and Billy Pollack was South. How did that happen, given that the two players are top experts?

The answer is that it was Pollack who played three no-trump as South, on the auction shown. The defenders led a low heart to the 10 and ace. You and I would try to win the heart continuation, then run diamonds — but the opponents might object. So how would you get to dummy to cash that diamond suit?

Well, at trick two, East could see diamonds were running, so decided desperate measures were called for. A spade shift might look best to you or me, at both first or second glance, but East switched to the club 10, hoping to find his partner with the goods there.

As declarer, Pollack followed smartly with the eight. To clarify the position, West overtook with the club jack and continued with the queen! Pollack won, crossed to dummy with his “sure” entry of the club seven and ran the diamonds for nine tricks. Easy game, bridge!


This hand is too good for an invitational jump to two hearts because of the fifth trump. In my book a three-heart call is not pre-emptive, but a sound invitation with a five-card suit. Check whether your partner has read the same book! If not, you must choose between the game force via the cue-bid, and the heavy jump to two hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 9 7
 A Q 8 6 5
 J 10 5
♣ 10 4
South West North East
1 Dbl. 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning face.

Oliver Goldsmith


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

*Invitational or better in spades

♣K

Today's deal sees one of the top pairs in the country with egg all over their faces. The deal comes from the Vanderbilt Trophy, the major knockout event of the Saint Louis Nationals last March.

Put yourself in West’s shoes. Because you haven’t agreed whether two no-trump over a possibly short opening bid of one club is for the red suits or the minors, you overcall one heart and find yourself defending four spades. The club king lead goes to the four, two and seven, with partner’s two being discouraging.

Accordingly, you shift to a low heart, which goes to the two in dummy, and declarer takes partner’s nine with the ace. Are you still thinking? Next, declarer leads the diamond ace, drawing the two, five and seven; then the diamond six comes next, and you follow with the three. Now what?

Whatever you do, it is too late. Declarer didn’t ruff the diamond six; instead he pitched dummy’s club to execute a Scissors Coup, cutting your communications with your partner. After the club discard from dummy, the heart ruff has disappeared. Your partner can win the spade ace, but cannot find a way back to your hand.

Contract made — and the author of the play described it as an immaterial coup. Why? Because at the other table his teammates had bid and made five diamonds with the East-West cards, to collect plus 600. As a consequence, even if the game had gone down, declarer would have gained a sizeable swing.


Your partner's double is not specifically for penalties. It suggests extra values and a balanced hand, not trump tricks, and in context (though you have your defensive tricks in your short suits); your spade void argues for bidding on. My best guess would be to bid five diamonds — though I admit you could easily be converting a plus score into a minus score.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠  —
 J 8 6 4 3
 J 9 4 3 2
♣ A K 5
South West North East
1♠ Dbl. 3♠
4 4♠ Dbl. 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 24th, 2014

If it's the thought that counts, why are there fingers?

A. A. Milne


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

K

In today's deal from last year's Saint Louis Nationals, consider East's problem defending four spades. Your partner leads the diamond king, and when it holds, he continues with the jack. Declarer wins and draws trump in three rounds, partner following as you pitch encouraging hearts, then ruffs the third diamond to hand.

At this point South exits with a low heart. Your partner puts up the queen and plays a second heart to you, declarer following again. You have reached a five-card ending with dummy holding a trump and four clubs, while you have two hearts and three clubs.

At the table, East exited with a low club. Declarer’s jack held, and now South’s only concern was if one defender had all the remaining three clubs. Whatever he did, he couldn’t go wrong.

In this ending, a slightly more thoughtful player would have exited with the club queen, protecting against the possibility that his partner had jack-third or jack-doubleton of clubs left. Now declarer would have a losing option as to which hand to win the club shift in.

However, a defender who paused to count would know that declarer rated to hold precisely 5-2-2-4 distribution — and if not, he would have a third heart. Either way, continuing with a third heart wouldn’t help him at all, since a ruff-sluff would give him an irrelevant discard. If West had the club jack, this beats the contract by force; if not, declarer is on a club guess.


I'm not enthusiastic about leading a diamond — your RHO rates to have a decent holding, if not necessarily length in that suit. Though your spades are better, leading a heart offers a better chance to set the game, since you may subsequently be able to get in with the spade ace if a heart lead sets up the suit for you.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ A 9 5
 Q 4 3
 J 9 6 2
♣ 10 5 4
South West North East
Pass 1♣ Pass 3 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

When is it right not to lead a count card against suits or no-trump at the first trick? And does it matter whether you are playing fourth-highest leads or third- and- fifth leads?

Spot the Dog, Durango, Colo.

Playing third- and- fifth leads, you should always lead the true count card if you don't have a sequence. The exception is that from three or four small in a suit you have bid or raised, you might lead the top card. Playing fourth highest, I tend to lead second only from four or five against no-trump, and then only when I have a second suit I might want partner to shift to.

When you respond one spade to one club and hear the next hand overcall two hearts, passed back to you, what should you bid when holding ♠ Q-9-7-3-2,  A-J-7,  Q-9-4, ♣ J-10? I thought the choice was to repeat my suit or try two no-trump. What do you think?

Fighting Ferdinand, Augusta, Ga.

It cannot be absurd to pass out the deal. Is your side really that likely to make game? Even if not playing support doubles (where partner's double of two hearts would show three spades) repeating that feeble suit looks a little rich, and since double is takeout here, I'm left with two no-trump as the least offensive action, if I bid at all.

I know transfers and Stayman apply after an opening bid at no-trump. Do they apply after an overcall in no-trump? And in an uncontested auction where opener makes a simple or jump rebid at no-trump after a pair of suits have been bid, is there any place for subsequent use of transfers?

Wheels Within Wheels, Waterbury, Conn.

The simple answer to your question is yes, use the same system of Stayman and transfers after an overcall in no-trump. But although you can use transfers in an uncontested auction after a rebid at no-trump, this requires detailed agreements, and has only marginal benefits. You can see a discussion of this here.

Holding ♠ Q-8-2,  A-Q-4-3,  J-7, ♣ K-J-9-4, I opened one club and bid one heart over my partner's response of one diamond. When he jumped to three clubs, I knew I had a little extra, but I thought I had already shown clubs and hearts since I did not rebid one no-trump at my second turn. So I passed and found that three no-trump had 11 tricks when the finesse for the club queen was onside. Did I undercook my hand?

Lying Low, Orlando, Fla.

I might have taken a shot at three no-trump with your hand if I had held the spade 10 instead of the two. But as it was, I agree with your valuation. You had indeed suggested at least as much shape as you actually had, and partner could have used fourth-suit if he wanted to force to game.

I noticed that at a recent world championship in Bali, our men did not win a medal. Where do they stand in the world rankings currently?

Need to Know, Twin Falls, Idaho

Before I answer that, I should congratulate our women and seniors on their gold and silver medals respectively. Having said that, our men are still in the top five teams — Netherlands, Italy, Monaco and Poland have all been very successful recently, with Sweden in the mix as 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 2014.
If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact
reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

But once in a while the odd thing happens,
Once in a while the dream comes true,
And the whole pattern of life is altered,
Once in a while the moon turns blue.

W.H. Auden


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

♠Q

When the spade queen is led against four hearts, it seems you need the diamond ace to be onside, since you have one club and two diamonds to lose.

However, you have two extra chances: The first is that if West has both club honors, you might throw him in on the third round of clubs, pitching a diamond from hand. But note that if West, a passed hand, holds both club honors, the diamond finesse will surely succeed.

However, there is one additional chance: that East holds the club K-Q. In that case, to prevent East from gaining the lead and firing a diamond through you, the opening lead should be ducked in both hands! Win the next spade in hand, lead the heart jack to dummy’s queen, then play the club two. If the club honors are split so that West wins the first club, you will dispose of a diamond on the spade ace, cash the club ace (in case the remaining club honor falls), then fall back on the diamond finesse.

As the cards lie, though, East must split his honors. Take East’s queen with the ace, play the heart king to the ace, then throw the club jack on the spade ace and lead the club 10.

After ruffing out the club king with a high heart, you can cross to dummy’s heart 10 and pitch a diamond on dummy’s master club. Now you may lead a diamond to the king to play for the overtrick.


A response of one heart tends to show five or more cards, but here the five-card restriction should be waived, since your four-card suit looks very much like five. This is surely the best way to get your values across, when coupled with diamond support at your next turn.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 7 3
 A Q 10 4
 6 3 2
♣ 10 9 2
South West North East
1♣ 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 21st, 2014

Who overcomes
By force, hath overcome but half his foe.

John Milton


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

*2-plus clubs

♠8

Depending on how you look at it, it is either a truism or a cliche that second hand plays low and third hand plays high. Fourth-hand play doesn't really have any such rules, though. You either win or you duck — and normally the question about which to do is easy to answer.

But not always: Today’s deal comes from the 1998 Junior European Championships, declared by Igor Grzejdziak. Igor had reached four hearts, and West led the spade eight, playing third and fifth leads. Note that the spade-six lead would have allowed declarer to cover with the spade seven and avoid a spade loser altogether.

However, on the lead of the spade eight, Igor sized up the position very quickly and played low from dummy. When East also played small, declarer also ducked in his hand. Cashing the club ace could have been a disaster with a slightly different layout, so West continued with the spade six. Declarer took East’s jack with the ace, played three rounds of hearts, and later finessed in spades. This allowed him to throw a club loser on the fourth spade, and a club ruff made a total of 10 tricks, thanks to declarer’s very imaginative deceptive move at the first trick.

Just for the record: Note that on the lead of, or shift to, the diamond jack at trick two, declarer might have ducked THAT trick too!


In fourth seat you would not consider passing out the deal. Equally, you do not want to open one diamond if any sensible alternative exists. Here, you do have a highly desirable option — in this case, opening one heart is far more attractive. When you are facing a passed hand, the moment to open a four-card major is when you plan to pass any nonforcing response, and you can direct the lead you think you want.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 10 7 4
 A K Q 8
 7 4 3
♣ 9 5
South West North East
Pass 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, March 20th, 2014

To pull the chestnuts out of the fire with the cat's paw.

Moliere


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

♠7

In today's deal West led the spade seven against three no-trump, to the queen and ace. Declarer next played a heart to dummy's jack, then the heart 10, East following with the seven and the three to show count, both ducked by West. Declarer next led a heart to his queen, East discarding the spade two. Plan the rest of the defense as West, after winning the heart ace.

In real life West woodenly returned a second spade, and declarer soon claimed his contract. West should have seen that declarer certainly had a second spade trick coming, but more importantly, East would not have pitched a spade if continuing the suit was the way to beat the contract. East’s spade discard here might carry suit-preference clues to his partner, so the low spade ought to suggest values in clubs. Even so, it is quite difficult to see the best way to generate the necessary three tricks from clubs.

West needs to find declarer with ace-doubleton in clubs, but he needs to be careful in case declarer has A-J or A-10. To cater for that eventuality, West must switch to the club nine. This will go to the queen and declarer’s ace. The best declarer can do now is cash the winning heart and play on diamonds. However, West will win the fourth round and continue with the club king and another club. With East’s 10-7 poised over dummy’s 8-6, declarer must lose two more club tricks, and go one down.


If you were facing an opening bid in first or second seat, you might keep the auction open with a tactical response of one no-trump (though being vulnerable might hold you back). But facing a third-in-hand opening, where you have already heard each opponent pass at his first turn, there is a good case for being more ready to pass here. The opposition is far less likely to be about to bid game now.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8
 J 10 5
 Q 8 7 3 2
♣ 8 6 5 2
South West North East
Pass 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Money cannot buy health, but I'd settle for a diamond-studded
wheelchair.

Dorothy Parker


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

A

A decade ago Marty Fleisher and Eric Rodwell paired up in a first-time partnership to win the Cavendish pairs. Today's deal comes from that event.

Rodwell is never one to hold back when game is in the offing, and on this occasion, when his partner forced him to act at the three-level, he felt he had something in reserve, hence his jump to four spades. Best defense is a club lead — and maybe East should have bid three clubs over the double to help his partner.

Still, West’s choice of the heart ace, to determine which minor to shift to, was a reasonable one. Unluckily for him, the club shift came too late. Rodwell played low, and East took the jack and exited with a second heart. Rodwell ruffed and played off the top spades, ruffed a second heart, then cashed four diamonds, ending in dummy. Now he led a trump, and in the two-card ending East had to play clubs into dummy’s tenace to concede the 10th trick.

As mentioned above, the idea of playing that responder to a weak-two can make lead-directing calls after his RHO has doubled is a sensible one, and dates back remarkably far. (50 years ago.) This idea was first proposed in Bridge World and is called McCabe, after its inventor. The idea is that when second hand doubles a weak-two bid, new suits at the three-level by the next player show tolerance for partner’s suit, but are primarily for the lead of the bid suit.


I'd expect your partner to have short spades and long diamonds, with enough values to drive to game. (With 5-6 shape he would bid two spades, then repeat the suit.) Three no-trump is not an option, but in the context of your initially limited action, you do have decent cards for slam if partner is really strong. So you can now bid four hearts as a cue-bid for diamonds, to see if that gets partner excited.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 6 5
 K J 7
 J 8 3
♣ K J 8 6
South West North East
1 Pass
1 NT 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be.

Thomas a Kempis


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

♣K

There was a defense to South’s contract of four spades on this deal but it required imagination by West. It proved no surprise when he failed to find the right switch at trick two – to be fair, not many players would.

The opening lead of the club king was easy enough but a glance at dummy made it clear that his partner could hold virtually nothing in the way of high cards. With just three defensive tricks himself, West decided that the only chance lay in finding East with a void in diamonds. Accordingly, he switched to the diamond jack, and dummy’s queen won. True, when West took his trump ace, he was able to give East a ruff, but it was only a loser that he trumped, and now the diamond king had no further part to play.

Do you have any thoughts on how the defenders might have prevailed? Try the effect of the diamond king at trick two! Declarer takes this and plays trump, but West wins the first round and follows with the diamond jack. Dummy’s queen is ruffed away and South is still left with a losing diamond.

It may be slightly fortunate to find East with just sufficiently good hearts to deny declarer four tricks in the suit, but this was surely more likely than finding him with a void in diamonds. In any event, the contract will probably still be defeated on best defense if East does have a diamond void.


There are two schools of thought. One suggests that responder should bid suits up the line when holding at least invitational values; the other focuses on major-suits and ignores diamonds. Put me in the latter camp when the diamond suit is as weak as this. I'll respond in hearts and hope to facilitate getting to game in one major or the other if appropriate.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 9 3
 K Q 7 6
 Q 8 4 2
♣ J
South West North East
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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 17th, 2014

'If everybody minded their own business,' said the Duchess in a hoarse growl, 'the world would go round a deal faster than it does.'

Lewis Carroll


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

10

Today's deal offers an intriguing red herring, but if you focus on the essentials, you will not get it wrong.

As South you should jump to four spades over the opponents’ opening bid of one heart. Yes, you might buy short spades and long clubs opposite, but even if you do, your spades are almost self-supporting, and playing a minor takes you up a level. Additionally, you give far less information away with an auction of this sort than you do if you start with an action such as a Michaels Cue-bid.

Suppose you achieve your target — being doubled in four spades. Dummy may not offer quite as much as you had hoped for, but you ruff the opening lead and play the club 10 from hand, which West wins. That player continues with a second heart, and you ruff away East’s jack. Now what?

You must avoid the Greek gift of playing to ruff a club in dummy. If you do so, you will then have to shorten your trumps to get back to hand, and you will find that you will have to surrender trump control — and with it, the contract.

Better is to ignore the club ruff and simply to play the spade ace and jack. The defense will do best to win and shorten you again, but you can draw the last trump and then knock out the club ace, making your contract when that suits breaks 3-3 and spades are 3-2.


It looks clear to lead a club, but which one is best? In my book leading a small club rates to protect against more positions (such as those where partner has a doubleton honor) than leading a top club, which tends to gain only when declarer or dummy has a doubleton club jack and partner has the 10.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 2
 J 4
 K 8 5
♣ K Q 9 4 3
South West North East
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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.