Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 1st, 2017

An optimist is a guy that has never had that much experience.

Don Marquis


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

J

Playing two over one, your partner’s sequence shows 18-19 with a doubleton club, and you take an optimistic shot at six clubs. You cover West’s lead of the diamond jack with the queen, but East plays the king, and you win your ace. How do you generate enough tricks from the spades to bring you up to 12 tricks?

You need to take at least three spade tricks, preferably four, without losing the lead. With the odds stacked against, you must identify a distribution that will allow you to get what you need.

Win the first trick, draw trump pitching a heart from dummy, and lead a spade to the queen. When it holds, you have surmounted the first obstacle. Cash the spade ace and ruff a spade. When the king drops, you can cross to the heart ace and cash two more good spades, discarding two of your losers. Had the spade king not fallen, you would have needed to take the heart finesse and ruff out the spades. Then you could have crossed to the heart ace to cash the fifth spade and discard a red-suit loser.

If you take the ruffing finesse in spades instead, by leading to the ace then running the queen, you are limited to a maximum of three spade tricks, even if East holds the king. The defense can cover the queen or jack, so you only get three tricks from the suit, even if everything goes as well as could be hoped. The key to making the slam is to maximize the value of your intermediate spade honors.


While it would be nice if partner had the right hand on which to use Blackwood, how likely is it that he has this hand? Not very, I’d say. Much more likely is that he has the other two suits; in highly competitive auctions this is generally the most practical use for the call. That being so, I would bid five diamonds now.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 5
 8 6 5
 A 6 5
♣ A K 10 7 5 4
South West North East
      1 ♠
2 ♣ 4 ♠ 4 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

It is nice to have valid competition; it pushes you to do better.

Gianni Versace


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

7

Every year there is a junior tournament between England, France, Netherlands and Belgium, with three categories: under 26, under 21, and under 26 women. This deal proved to be the key in the England Juniors’ win over the Netherlands.

When West led the diamond seven against four spades doubled, East played three rounds of the suit. South, Ben Norton, ruffed the third one high, West following what seemed to be good technique by discarding.

He chose a high club to show an even number to signal count. But this proved to be a bad idea, because it tipped declarer off to the club position. Declarer realized West surely had some length in spades along with a doubleton diamond, and his discard of a club was not consistent with him holding the queen. Declarer determined that it might be a good idea to extract any trump East might hold, so he first led a sly spade 10 from his hand.

West might well have inferred that declarer had semisolid spades (since he had earlier ruffed in with the king) but could see little danger in ducking. South showed him the error of his ways by switching tack. He played ace and another club, putting up the king. When the queen fell, he could discard his heart on the third club, ruff a heart back to hand, and draw trump for plus 790.

In the other room East-West had bid on to five hearts doubled. This went two down for minus 300, so the swing was 10 IMPs to England instead of 11 IMPs the other way.


It is sensible to play your partner’s one spade call as forcing for one round by an unpassed hand. So here your partner surely has close to opening values and four hearts, or compensation in the form of extra strength. I would raise to three hearts, while secretly worried that my partner is more likely to take eight tricks than 10 in hearts.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 5
 J 4 3 2
 A K J 6 5 3
♣ Q 5
South West North East
      1 ♣
1 Pass 1 ♠ Pass
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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

No great improvement in the lot of mankind are possible, until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.

John Stuart Mill


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

♣K

Do the experts play better now than they did 80 years ago? I would certainly concede that bidding techniques have improved dramatically. Even so, given that experts still reach plenty of bad contracts, the majority of expert hands consist of avoiding mistakes rather than being brilliant.

Also, we can now discover that some of the most admired deals from the past were flawed, though that is not true of today’s deal, which was played by Charles Goren. As you can see, the auction featured the use of four-card majors – though even using five-card majors, some might open the South hand one heart.

Against three no-trump, the club king was led and ducked. Next came the club queen, and Goren ducked again. Now since he had no entries, West decided to shift to the diamond 10, won by dummy’s ace. Goren next led a heart to the ace, and tried a spade to the queen and king. Back came the diamond queen, and Goren ducked again, rectifying the count, by losing four tricks early, and improving his ability to count out the hand. After winning the next diamond with the king, Goren cashed the heart king, then the club ace and the spade ace-jack.

At this point West could be counted out to have begun with four spades, two diamonds, and five clubs, so could not hold more than the two hearts he had already followed to. So in the two-card ending Goren could lead to the heart 10 and claim the rest.


I would overcall one heart here, breaking my rule that one should never overcall on a four-card suit. While conscience makes cowards of us all, 100 honors tends to make us all brave, if not necessarily wise. Your best way to compete and get partner safely off to the right lead is to bid at once.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 8 6 3
 A K Q 10
 5 4 3
♣ A 7 6
South West North East
  Pass Pass 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, May 29th, 2017

As if you could kill time without injuring eternity.

Henry David Thoreau


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

J

As South, you have a very powerful hand but not one suitable for a two club opening. It is better to take it carefully, by bidding your suits in economical order. When North makes the simple raise to two hearts you might just jump to game — but since you need so little to make slam, why not try a delicate two spade call?

This is a long suit game-try, which means it asks North to value his hand on the basis that his partner has honor-third or honor-fourth in spades. North has a decent hand (four trumps and respectable high cards plus a nice spade holding facing length) enough to jump to game. Now South should be prepared to take a shot at slam in the knowledge that his partner rates to be reasonably suitable for his purposes.

When West leads the diamond jack, the simple line for South of winning, then laying down the heart ace, would turn out very badly today. Still, you can afford to be more careful in a slam can’t you?

Trick one goes to the queen, king and ace of diamonds. You cash the club ace, then cross to table with a spade and throw the losing diamond away on the club king.

Now the only danger is 3-0 trumps. Agreed? You can protect yourself against almost anything if you lead a low trump from dummy and simply cover East’s card. Check it out if you do not believe me. When you put the heart nine on East’s eight you will simultaneously make your day and spoil his!


The question of when to lead an unsupported ace in a bid and supported suit is a thorny one. I’m generally against it, unless it is clear declarer rates to have discards coming on a long suit. Here that doesn’t seem to be the case, so I would lead a top club.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ A 6 3
 6 5 3
 10 5 4
♣ J 10 9 5
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♠ Dbl.
2 ♠ Dbl. Pass 3
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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, May 28th, 2017

If declarer puts a card on the table, then indicates he did not intend to play that card, what are the follow-up? Does it matter if the next hand follows suit before declarer picks it up?

Fallen Angel, Naples, Fla.

The difference between a dropped and played card is significant. Accidentally dropped cards can be retrieved by declarer with no penalty, but a played card cannot be retracted. In essence, unless a card falls out of declarer’s hand, it is generally deemed played. If the next hand has followed, I can’t see declarer being allowed to retract his card. Contrast the position for the defenders: if a defenders holds a card so their partner can see it, it should be deemed played.

Recently you ran a deal showing a convention called Smolen with game-forcing values and 5-4 in the majors. Can you also use this convention with 6-4 in the majors?

Staying the Course, Latrobe, Pa.

For the record: with game-going values and 5-4 in the majors, you bid Stayman then jump in the four-card major to get your side to a 5-3 fit (if there is one) the right way up. That gadget is called Smolen. Stayman followed by four of a red suit can be used as a transfer with 6-4 pattern in the majors, but that requires a partnership agreement.

What is your general agreement about whether it is wise to preempt with a void on the side? Does it matter which seat you are in? And would you ever preempt with a good suit but a five-card suit on the side?

Trouble with Tribbles, Dodge City, Kan.

So long as you have a good six-card suit, I have no problem with having a 6-4-3-0 shape, or even having a weak five-card suit on the side. The critical issue is that your long suit is sound enough to play facing a small doubleton. The late Paul Trent gave his name to that style, but Zia is also a big fan of it.

Holding ♠ 10-3-2, A-Q-J-7, 2, ♣ A-J-9-4-2, would you respond two clubs or one heart to a one diamond opener — and what are the factors that control your choice?

Taking the High Road, Albuquerque, N.M.

Most strong hands with a five-card minor and a four-card major start with the minor to set up a game force, since it generally allows you to bid your second suit economically. Where, as here, you are borderline for a force to game you could go either way. And this is especially the case with a very good major, where a 4-3 fit might be right, I can see that it might be right to respond one heart and try two no-trump over a one spade or two diamond rebid from your partner

My partner frequently uses a short club opening bid in hopes of finding a fit in a major suit with as few as two cards in the suit. What would be the accepted minimum holding in a standard five-card major system to make such a bid? And should that influence our responding style?

Little by Little, Columbia, S.C.

Playing standard, with 3-3 in the minors I open one club regardless of suit quality, and with 4-4 I open the better minor. Essentially the one diamond opener always delivers four cards, unless it is precisely a 4=4=3=2 pattern. If you want to open one club with that shape, it really should not alter your constructive bidding. The hand comes up so rarely, you can essentially ignore the possibility partner has it.


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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Whoever can surprise well must conquer.

John Paul Jones


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

J

Today’s deal was played by John Schermer in the top bracket of a regional knock-out. You may care to consider it first as a single-dummy problem. Against five clubs West leads the diamond jack, covered, and back comes a diamond. All follow; plan the play.

Schermer deduced that West was likely to have two clubs, since his choice of a doubleton jack lead suggested he did not have shortage in any of the sidesuits. Also, if trumps were two-two, there would be more endplay chances.

So he took the club king and led towards the ace, collecting West’s doubleton queen. Now Schermer asked himself why West had led diamonds not spades, given that he presumably had the heart ace (since he had not led the suit).

One plausible explanation was that he also had a significant spade doubleton.

With the idea that East had started life with the spade king and 5-3-3-2 shape, Schermer now made a play I’ve never seen before, after cashing the third diamond. He led the spade queen from dummy, covered by the king, and ace, putting West in the hot seat. When that player did not unblock his jack, he was endplayed with a spade. West had to lead hearts, and that set up the discard declarer needed for his losing spade.

Had West unblocked the spade jack under the ace, Schermer would have crossed to the board with a diamond to lead a spade up to his nine, and again held his spade losers to one.



I don’t want my readers to think I’m going soft, but facing a passed partner I think it is entirely reasonable to double rather than overcall one no-trump. With a marginal hand for the no-trump overcall, you can sensibly choose the safer action. Your extra values mean that if partner competes, he will not find dummy unexpectedly disappointing.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 7 3
 K 10 3
 K Q 8 3
♣ A J 8
South West North East
  Pass Pass 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, May 26th, 2017

The poor man who enters into a partnership with one who is rich makes a risky venture.

Plautus


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

*Lebensohl

10

Today’s deal comes to me from a friend and collaborator in various bridge ventures, Neil Cohen. Neil had played the deal in a pairs competition online, so his focus was slightly different than the problem I will set you. This is to try to make nine tricks in three no-trump after West has shown hearts and a minor over your strong no-trump. North’s two no-trump call was designed to show the values for three no-trump with a heart stopper.

As Neil put it, using a baseball analogy, if you read West for the club ace, you can make nine tricks on a double steal.

Win the diamond lead in hand and lead a club to the king. (This is the first steal — West must duck or you can run the clubs for three tricks.) Then give up a club to East. Now, win the diamond continuation and lead a heart towards dummy’s king. This is the second steal, since West must duck again, or you will have nine tricks in the form of three spades, two hearts, three diamonds and a club. Once the heart king holds, you switch back to clubs, and make two clubs and one heart to go with your six tricks in the pointed suits.

Of course the simple club finesse would be an equally valid way to make the hand; but given the vulnerability and the fact that West has come into the auction facing a passed partner, the actual lie of the cards is perhaps slightly more likely.


Did you make a limit raise in hearts? I won’t say this will never work, but I see more points thrown away overbidding facing a major with a balanced 10-count than almost any other way. For your side to make game, partner must have enough to move over a ‘constructive’ raise from one to two. Bear in mind, one of your queens rates not to be pulling its full weight. Just bid two hearts here.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 9 6
 K 9 6
 Q 8 6
♣ K 10 7 4
South West North East
  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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Six months’ oblivion amounts to newspaper death, and resurrection is rare.

Henry Brooks Adams


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

A

I noted with regret the death of Albert Dormer, who was for many years the bridge correspondent of The Times of London. Playing with Alan Hiron – the then correspondent of the Independent Newspaper — they won the World Senior Pairs Championship in Geneva in 1990.

Albert was for many years the editor of the International Bridge Press Association, and worked with Jimmy Ortiz-Patino, helping to run his bridge-related activities.

Dormer sat East on today’s deal, and made no mistake in defense to four spades. West led the heart ace to the three, eight and king and continued with a second heart. Declarer won on the table and led a trump to West’s ace. West was still uncomfortable with the idea of opening up either of the minor suits, so pressed on with a third round of hearts, expecting Dormer to ruff and kill any possible discard on the heart 10. Farsightedly, though, Dormer did not ruff, instead discarding a club. Now declarer had no resource. He could throw a club as well, but any attempt to cross-ruff would fail, while leading another trump would allow the defenders to play a third round. Now there would be only one club ruff available in dummy.

At the other table, after a similar start to the play, East happily trumped in on the third round of hearts. Declarer over-ruffed, and now had no trouble with playing the cross-ruff, losing only to the king of trumps.



Avert your eyes all readers of delicate sensibility. Partner could easily have set spades or clubs as trump by raising those suits. This is a quantitative sequence, suggesting a balanced 14-15 or so, and in the context of your last call having suggested extras in shape or high cards, you have nothing in hand. So pass, unless playing with someone who never bids four no-trump except to ask for aces.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q J 9 6 4
 K J
 8
♣ A K J 9 3
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 2 Pass
3 ♣ Pass 4 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.

Lord Byron


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

7

In today’s deal from the Dyspeptics Club, when South jumped to three spades, North’s thoughts turned to reaching a grand slam. Eventually, the potential shortage of entries to dummy to bring in the diamonds persuaded North to settle for what he thought ought to be a safe enough small slam.

The bidding had brought South to a sensible spot, but, alas, declarer’s play let him down. When West led the heart seven against the small slam, declarer allowed East’s queen to win. With a likely 11 top tricks, it seemed that the best chance of a 12th was a third round heart ruff in dummy. So he won the heart return then cashed the spade ace — just in case — and continued with his last heart, ruffed with the nine, East over-ruffed, and down went the slam.

Atypically, North refrained from comment about the line chosen by his partner. Eventually, though, the light dawned on declarer. Can you see what he missed?

All South had to do was win the first heart, then draw trump. Next he can play the diamond jack and overtake in dummy. He can cash the second top diamond, discarding a heart from hand, then continue with the diamond 10.

If East covers, South ruffs, reenter dummy with the club ace, then discard all the heart and club losers on the established diamonds, to make 13 tricks. And if East doesn’t cover, South pitches his last heart. The club ace is an entry to the diamonds, for a club discard.


Continuations after a reverse are a matter for partnership agreement, not of right or wrong. Some play two no-trump by responder as the weakest action, some play the cheaper of fourth suit and two no-trump as showing weakness. In either case you would bid two no-trump now, planning to give preference to three diamonds. If you play a direct three diamond call as non-forcing, then bid it now.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 5 4 2
 Q 9
 Q 8 7 5
♣ Q 5 2
South West North East
  Pass 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.

Paul Hawken


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

♠K

In today’s deal as South when you hear your partner raise you to four hearts, you cannot be sure if partner has a real hand, in which case you might be cold for a grand slam, or nothing but some heart support, when you might find yourself struggling at the five level.

The secret here is not to take charge and tell your partner what he has, but to cuebid and consult your partner as to whether he might be interested in slam. Once you get a cuebid from your partner, you can try for the moon, but you will not get any further cooperation today. In fact, when dummy comes down in six hearts, the duplication of values and mirror image of the North-South hands makes even the small slam far less attractive than you might have imagined.

Fortunately, the bad breaks in both black suits gives you a blueprint to bringing home an unlikely 12th trick. You win the spade lead, draw trump in one round, and lead the diamond jack from hand in case you can tempt West to cover. When West plays low, you win the king and next take your best percentage chance of finessing in diamonds to pitch a club from dummy on the third diamond. Now play ace and another club, hoping it will be East who must win the trick.

Today you are in luck, since when East takes the second round of clubs he must return a minor suit and give you a ruffsluff. That lets you pitch your spade loser from hand.


Your partner’s somewhat unexpected jump to four clubs sets hearts as trump, and suggests he is interested in slam with a club control — typically based on shortage. You can cuebid four diamonds in return (the fact that this is a second-round, not first-round, control is not critical). You will pass a reversion to four hearts next, of course.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 5 2
 A J 8 7 6
 K 8
♣ J 6 3
South West North East
Pass 1 ♣ Dbl. Pass
2 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.