Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.

William Shakespeare


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

♣5

North could hardly believe his good fortune when he saw South open the bidding with a strong no-trump. Yet there turned out to be a sting in the tail…

At any other vulnerability North might have been suspicious, but as it was, with a combined minimum of 37 HCP, North saw no point in hanging about and closed the auction with a majestic leap to seven no-trump.

West led the club 10, captured with dummy’s ace. Hardly pausing for breath, South cashed dummy’s diamond ace then played a diamond to the king, being brought up short when West showed out. He could now count on only twelve tricks, but there were still other chances for a thirteenth – a 3-3 heart break or a red-suit squeeze. But when those failed to materialize, he had to settle for one down – and a disgruntled partner.

As the only thing that can go wrong is an inconvenient diamond break, it is surely worth embarking on a voyage of discovery, to see if you can get a better feel for the distribution.

Cash the diamond ace to start with – if either defender shows out, you can safely finesse for the jack. Then cash all three top hearts, followed by the clubs. Finally, take the spade ace then king. Today this will reveal West’s exact distribution as 2-4-1-6, so East is known to have started with jack-fourth of diamonds. The diamond nine can now be safely finessed, the king cashed, and the spade queen is the entry for the diamond queen.


With a 22-count it is possible to go high or low, that is to say by treating the hand as a balanced 20-22 or a balanced 22-24. Here the quality of your honors and your chunky five-card minor, solidified by the 10 – not an irrelevant spot-card – should persuade you to go high. Open two clubs and rebid two no-trump at your next turn.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K Q 4
 A Q 2
 A Q 10 8 3
♣ A J
South West North East
?      
       

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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

Reality is easy. It’s deception that’s the hard work.

Lauryn Hill


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

♠3

The following deal was composed by Fred Karpin, and contains a somewhat subtle trap. It is based on a real-life deal from the 1930s played by Richard Frey, one of the 10 original ACBL lifemasters.

After South opened a 16-18 no-trump, North simply raised to game. West’s natural lead against that contract was a spade rather than a club. There is much to be said for leading the five not the three (second from four small) but West led the three. Declarer won in hand with the king and advanced a low diamond, hoping to get past West, assuming that if East won the first diamond he would surely continue spades.

But our West was made of sterner stuff and hopped up with the diamond king and shifted to a club. Now you would expect East to win and clear clubs, setting up five winners for the defenders; but when declarer dropped the king under the ace, East rethought the position. ‘Clearly’ declarer had king-queen doubleton in clubs, so a spade continuation looked appropriate.

Of course if East had trusted his partner, he would have inferred that West’s choice of the club two at trick three should have indicated that the right defense was to continue clubs, not to revert to spades. If West had started life with A-10 of spades and needed to put his partner in for the spade play, he would have shifted to the highest club spot he could afford. But declarer gave the defense the chance to err, and East took it.


The playing strength in the form of a five-card suit with decent intermediates makes this just worth a quantitative jump to four no-trump. If your partner doesn’t declare the hands so well, settle for the simple raise to three no-trump and be prepared to apologize for your discretion.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 6
 A Q 3
 J 10 7 6 3
♣ J 8 5
South West North East
    2 ♣ Pass
2 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, August 3rd, 2015

’Tis the good reader that makes the good book.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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

A

This column is always eager to receive instructive deals from readers. This deal from Marty Hirschman featured the same contract being reached in both rooms; but the player who attacked with the best lead for the defense did not defeat the contract, while the defender who had the more difficult task did set the game.

Hirschman at the first table did not know whether to lead clubs or diamonds against four spades, and while I admit I might well have led a club to the first trick, he did better than me. He led the spade ace, and on the sight of dummy found the killing shift to a low diamond. In essence he appreciated that the only practical way he would ever set the game now was to find partner with the doubleton diamond king. While this was unlikely, at teams one should not care too much about letting through overtricks in situations of this sort.

In the other room West’s choice of the diamond ace on opening lead was quite reasonable (playing partner for short diamonds is an easy – if unlikely – way to set the game). He continued with the diamond jack, covered by dummy’s queen, and East won to shift to a club. Declarer gratefully cashed the ace and king of clubs to shake dummy’s remaining diamond. Then he played a trump up, and could claim after the trump ace put in an appearance.

Do you think East should have worked out to play a spade at trick three, treating the diamond jack as suit preference? I do.


It feels right to try to cash heart winners rather than go for the surprise spade lead, but having said that, you should lead the heart king rather than a small heart. Your plan is to retain the lead and shift to a spade if necessary. If declarer or dummy has the heart ace, you are unlikely to have done your side any serious harm.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 7 4 3
 K 9 7 5
 7 5 4
♣ J 5
South West North East
  1 1 2 ♣
3 Pass Pass 4 ♣
Pass 5 ♣ 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

I opened one club, and the next hand overcalled one spade. When the next two hands passed, should I have passed too, holding: ♠ 7-4, K-10-8-4, A-Q-2, ♣ K-J-4-3? I did have a minimum balanced hand, I thought.

Balancing Act, Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

This is a tough one for intermediate players to understand. But when you play negative doubles, you should always re-open with a double when you are short in the opponents’ suit. Here you would expect partner either to have a minimum hand and no clear action – when I admit you might regret re-opening – or a penalty double of spades, when passing will not prove represent your side’s best result.

Holding: ♠ 9-2, K-9-6-5-2, J-2, ♣ K-7-4-3 I heard my partner open one spade and I responded one no-trump. When my partner bid two diamonds I corrected to two spades, missing a 5-4 heart fit (my partner had a 5-4-4-0 shape and was trying to find a fit). Who went wrong here?

Broken Hearted, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.

Your partner’s responsibility here was to rebid two hearts not two diamonds, to look for the higher scoring contract. The two diamonds call is almost sure to lose any eight-card heart fit (and even, as here, a 5-4 fit). Missing a diamond fit is a ‘minor’ disaster by comparison.

Do you favor opening in third or fourth seat with a four-card major? If you would, how good a suit should you have? What would be the minimum for such an action?

Robbery with Violins, Midland, Mich.

Yes, one can make such a call with a minimum, and it can be made on any hand where the quality of the majorsuit is significantly better than the minor, and the hand is only worth one call. For example, I would open ace-queen fourth of spades rather than queen-fourth of clubs in an 11-count, but not in a 14-count, where I plan to bid again if given the chance.

I’m embarrassed to say I don’t really understand what exactly people mean by the term ‘Two over one’? Is it part of Standard American?

Slow Learner, Boca Raton, Fla.

The underlying concept behind ‘Two over one’ is that a two-level response to a one-level opening, if not in competition, sets up a game-forcing auction. Many people play ‘two over one’ is game forcing UNLESS responder repeats his suit. I’m happy to play either style; I think these approaches are about as common as the old-fashioned style where a two-level response does not guarantee a second bid. The former style is becoming close to standard in tournament play.

Holding: ♠ Q-4-3-2, 6, K-J-7-2, ♣ A-K-9-6 I opened one club, (do you agree?) and raised a one spade response to two. What is the right way to continue over a bid of three clubs from my partner?

Enigma Machine, Danville, Ill.

The three-club call is forcing. I think I can show the nature of my hand precisely by jumping to four hearts. Having limited my hand by my simple raise at my previous turn, my jump in a new suit is an unusual variety of splinter-bid in support of spades. We may not be able to make slam, but my partner should envisage a hand of this approximate shape and strength, and make his own arrangements.


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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 1st, 2015

When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.

Samuel Johnson


N North
None ♠ A 5 4
 Q
 K 7 4
♣ Q J 8 7 4 3
West East
♠ J 9 7
 9 4
 Q 6 5
♣ A K 6 5 2
♠ Q 10 8 3
 K J 10 6 5 2
 10
♣ 10 9
South
♠ K 6 2
 A 8 7 3
 A J 9 8 3 2
♣ —
South West North East
    1 ♣ 1
2 Pass 3 Pass
3 Pass 3 ♠ Pass
6 All pass    

♣K

Today’s deal comes from the rubber bridge table in London, and was reported by Brian Jackson, a player who thought he had seen it all. He had led a top club against six diamonds, being more hurt than surprised to see declarer ruff it. South now cashed the heart ace and trumped a heart. He then ruffed another club and another heart (Jackson discarding a club). This was followed by the spade king and ace, then a club ruff and another heart ruff, Jackson discarding a spade.

In the four-card ending declarer had a losing spade in each hand, and three clubs in dummy, and A-J-9 of trumps in hand. When declarer played a club from the dummy, East (who had two hearts and a spade as well as his trump 10 left) ruffed in, hoping to promote a trump trick for West. However, South overruffed as West followed suit, then exited with a spade.

In the three-card ending West had to ruff and was endplayed in trumps. Contract made. But had East discarded a spade instead on the previous trick, he could have overruffed his partner on the spade exit. Now the defenders would have come to two tricks.

However, it was my reporter who apologized to his partner. For when declarer played the fourth heart from his hand in the five-card ending, West should have ruffed in front of the dummy. Now in the ending he has one fewer trump and an additional spade, so would be able to discard, rather than ruff in, at trick 11, and thus escape the endplay.


This auction is traditionally played as forcing – though whether you play change of suit forcing after a one-level overcall is down to partnership agreement. You cannot raise hearts, so the question is whether to rebid two no-trump or repeat the clubs. You have so few tricks I prefer a three-club rebid; but it is close.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 5 4
 Q
 K 7 4
♣ Q J 8 7 4 3
South West North East
      1
2 ♣ 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 31st, 2015

Life doesn’t offer charity, it offers chance.

Amit Kalantri


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

10

In today’s deal South took a flyer at slam without any assurance of finding real trump support, but knowing from the fourth-suit call that responder had opening values. The two diamond call asks rather than tells, and sets up a game-force.

After the lead of the diamond 10, declarer’s back was firmly against the wall, since he no longer had an entry to dummy. Crossing his fingers, South finessed the diamond jack. When it held, he played the diamond ace and king, discarding the ace and king of spades from hand.

Next came dummy’s three spade winners, on which declarer discarded his three club losers. Everything had passed off remarkably peacefully up till now. All that remained was to negotiate trumps for just one loser – by no means a sure thing. If trumps were 3-2 it would be a blind guess as to whether to lead to the queen or the 10. One play succeeds against jack-third to your right, one against kingthird, and there were no indications in the bidding or play as to which was more likely. And either play works against a doubleton honor in East. But if trumps were 4-1 with West having a singleton, the choice between playing the queen or 10 came down in favor of leading to the queen, since that picked up a singleton jack with West, the only relevant singleton. So declarer led a trump to the queen and lived happily ever after.


When you have a 12-count with two four-card suits, the question is not whether to open the bidding, but with what to open. I can imagine 12-counts I would pass but this is not one of them. Yes opening one club is hardly lead-directing, and in third seat I would understand bidding one diamond – or even one spade. But in first seat it looks normal to open one club and bid the spades the next time round.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q J 10 5
 5 4
 A K J
♣ J 5 3 2
South West North East
?      
       

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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 30th, 2015

And she is the reader who browses the shelf
and looks for new worlds but finds herself.

Laura Salas


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

*Two of five key cards, no trump queen

**Club king

♠9

I am always happy to receive deals from my readers (you can email them to me or leave a comment below). Today’s deal features Marty Hirschman and Lynne Schaeffer. In an ACBL pairs game online, after a somewhat optimistic sequence Hirschman came to rest in seven hearts. (Did that six diamond call show or ask for a second round diamond control?)

Hirschman won the spade lead with the ace, drew trump, then cashed two more spade winners. Because East had short hearts, Hirschman decided to lead a club to the 10. So far so good!

Then he cashed the club king, the diamond ace, and took his last two trump winners. In the two-card ending he had reduced down to the diamond queen and a club, with the club ace-jack on the bard. West’s cards were irrelevant, but East could not hold both the diamond king and two clubs. He discarded his diamond king in the hope that his partner had the queen, so Hirschman could take the diamond queen and club ace on the last two tricks.

As an aside: without the diamond queen, how should you play? After drawing trump you should take the club king and then lead up to the club ace-jack. This way you pick up half the 3-3 club breaks (in that case it would be a straight guess as to who has the queen) plus whenever West has the doubleton or singleton club queen. The point is that you cannot make the hand if East has the queen and real club length.


You have a spectacular hand for hearts, too good simply to raise to four hearts. Bid four clubs as an advance cuebid for hearts (this can’t be a club single-suiter given your previous call so it must be in support of hearts). With a good hand for spades you would bid three spades over three hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 10
 K Q J 4
 A 8
♣ A J 6 3
South West North East
1 ♣ Pass 1 ♠ Pass
2 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

All seemed well pleased, all seemed but were not all.

John Milton


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

♠4

When today’s deal came up in a local duplicate I led a spade to the first trick against three notrump. My opponent put in the jack and captured the queen with the king. Then he led a club to the king and ace. My partner won the trick and returned a spade. Declarer ducked the second spade, so I cleared the suit, but declarer ran his clubs and diamonds, and I claimed the last two tricks with the heart ace and a spade winner. Declarer claimed that he was a little unlucky not to make overtricks, with the heart ace offside and the spade queen poorly placed, and I had to bite my tongue to refrain commenting further. Who do you think earned my displeasure on the deal?

It was hard, though perhaps not impossible for my partner to have ducked the first club. Then, even if he ducks the second club as well, declarer will surely finish with no more than eight tricks, because he has no entry to his hand any more.

And that brings me to my second point of the deal. At trick one declarer had nine top winners: two spades, four diamonds and three clubs. But he has only one sure entry to the clubs, in the form of the spade king. To protect that entry, South must rise with the spade ace at trick one and play the club king from dummy at once. This way nothing will stop him taking at least nine tricks.


It might be right to pass and hope to beat this contract. But that seems unnecessarily defeatist. I would double again, hoping that even if partner is weak, we might still find him with as little as five cards in diamonds or spades (or even in hearts!) in which case we might well come home with a partscore.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A J 3
 7 6 4 3
 A K Q J
♣ K 10
South West North East
    Pass 1 ♣
Dbl. 1 Pass 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

My name is Might-have-been:
I am also called No-more, Too-late, Farewell.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


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

♠K

In today’s deal put yourself in East’s shoes. West leads the spade king; over to you.

If you were parsimonious you could give partner an “encouraging” spade five, and then blame him afterwards for not reading this as a high spade! If he misreads the position, and cashes a second top spade, the defense is over. West may guess well to exit with a trump, but declarer simply ruffs out the diamonds to establish two discards for his losing clubs and makes 10 tricks.

A helpful partner would make West’s life far easier by following with the spade queen at the first trick, promising the spade jack. The general rule about dropping an honor in these positions is that it is either shortage or a sequence solid from that card down.

That will allow partner to underlead in spades on the second round, so that you can shift to a club through declarer’s club acequeen. That lets you develop four tricks before declarer sets up the diamonds for a club discard. You had better get the defense right to this one, since four spades your way only goes one down!

Perhaps West might have bid on — his hand looks more suitable for offence than defense, and the only reason that the four spade contract goes down is your combined weak club spots. If East’s clubs were just a little better West might have made 10 tricks in spades – and four hearts might still be allowed to sneak home, if you don’t time the defense right.


This is a very tricky problem especially at matchpoints, where finding the highest scoring partscore is as important as simply going plus. I can understand passing at teams since all your cards look to be lying badly. At pairs maybe two spades is reasonable. I’m not a fan of a two no-trump call here. I have no tricks for my partner.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 4
 A Q 2
 K J 5 3 2
♣ 10 5 3
South West North East
  1 1 ♠ Pass
1 NT 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, July 27th, 2015

Believe me, wise men don’t say ‘I shall live to do that’,
Tomorrow, life’s too late; live today.

Martial


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

*Preemptive

Q

Some rules are made to be broken – not on every deal, of course, but when the situation demands it. One of those rules is not to ruff your partner’s winner, but as we shall see, it may be the only route to success.

In today’s deal West’s jump to three hearts was preemptive rather than a limit raise. With the stronger hand he would have cuebid rather than jumped in his partner’s suit. East was happy to defend four spades, and in any event he judged correctly that a five-level sacrifice would be too costly.

The heart queen was overtaken by the ace for a shift to the diamond queen. Declarer preserved his entry to dummy by winning the ace and playing on clubs. East saw his partner’s club six, suggesting an even number, so ducked the first club to try to cut declarer’s communications. He won the second club to play the diamond 10 and set up a winner for his side.

Declarer won dummy’s diamond king and tried to cash a club, on which to discard his diamond loser. East ruffed low, forcing South to overruff, and now declarer needed to renter dummy to access the clubs without giving up the lead. The only practical way to achieve his target was to ruff his heart winner in dummy.

Now he led a fourth club, to neutralize East’s trump ace. That player could ruff in with his remaining trump, but South was able to discard his diamond loser and could claim the balance.


It is easy to see that any of the four suits might work here, but my instincts are to lead up to declarer’s weakness, in other word to try to avoid giving away a trick. Either a diamond or a spade might work but I think that while a spade lead might clear up a guess, it is also the suit most likely either to be passive or to set up a winner for partner. So I would lead the spade three.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 3 2
 A 10 6 4
 J 9 4 2
♣ K 9 2
South West North East
  1 Pass 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.