Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 28th, 2017

Never walk away from failure. On the contrary, study it carefully and imaginatively for its hidden assets.

Michael Korda


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

♣Q

With three four-card suits, North begins by bidding the suit under the singleton. This leaves him in good position for his next bid.

As expected, South responds in North’s singleton. North can now introduce his spades conveniently, over which South has a problem. He almost has enough to invite game because of his source of tricks, but with a known misfit, a call of one no-trump looks the prudent way to go. When North invites game (also a restrained action) South has plenty in hand for his acceptance.

After a top club lead, South must be careful not to duck, for fear of a spade shift, when the defenders might set that suit up. He must win; but in which hand? The answer is to win in dummy to protect South’s entries to the hearts. But the shortage of entries to the South hand means that the routine play in hearts will not succeed. South can set up hearts but won’t be able to reach them.

Instead, South can solve his problem by overtaking the heart king with dummy’s ace. He next leads the heart jack to force out the queen. East refuses this trick, and declarer continues with dummy’s heart 10.

East must take the heart queen, and can lead the spade 10. South is now in complete control, and can eventually return to his hand with the club ace to cash the last two hearts. He takes four hearts, one spade, and two tricks in each minor.



This hand is nowhere near as good as it looks. You should simply raise to two spades, a real game try if not in competition, and be quite content with that. Remember, partner occasionally has only three spades for this auction – and may well be quite weak.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 7 6 5
 K
 A K 5 2
♣ K 8 7 3
South West North East
    Pass 1
Dbl. Pass 1 ♠ Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Never be a pioneer. It’s the Early Christian that gets the fattest lion.

Saki


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

♣9

After North’s opening bid, South’s thoughts will immediately turn toward slam. His plan will be to bid hearts then diamonds. But once his partner raises hearts, showing extras in the process, South can use Blackwood, perhaps expecting to be heading towards a grand slam.

However, somewhat to South’s surprise, North shows only one ace by his response of five diamonds. Once South discovers that an ace is missing he can do nothing but jump to six hearts. This is a call that should end the auction, since North has no reason to overrule his partner. If South were interested in a grand slam, he would go slower.

West’s best chance to defeat the slam on opening lead is his singleton – even though it is in dummy’s first bid suit. If South wins the trick, underestimating the danger, and leads a trump at once, East will take his heart ace and return a club for his partner to ruff.

But there is a way around the problem; the simplest way is for declarer to discard his club on dummy’s spade king. So South unblocks the spade ace, then cashes the diamond ace and ruffs a diamond in order to reach dummy. Declarer is then in position to play off the spade king, discarding the last club from the South hand.

South can now afford to draw trump. When East wins his ace and leads a second round of clubs, South can ruff high and draw the rest of the trump to make his slam.



You should remember that anyone who tells you that there is a serious alternative in standard bidding to raising to two spades should be regarded suspiciously from now on. Yes, you have good clubs, but the raise here does not guarantee four trumps. It suggests four or three and a ruffing value with a minimum opener; perfect for this hand.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 8 4
 J 9 8 5
 6
♣ A K Q J 5
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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

Every exit is an entry somewhere else.

Tom Stoppard


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

*Artificial slam-try in clubs

♠9

In today’s bidding North produced a subtle conventional agreement after South limited his hand with a non-forcing two no-trump call. North bid the other minor as a conventional slam-try, after which South’s modest hand suddenly became extremely suitable for slam. In this sequence North could have signed off over two no-trump in three of the agreed minor, or bid a major to show shortness.

Against six clubs West led the spade nine, and the jack was covered by the queen and ace. That was good news for declarer, who now had to focus on the small concern of 4-0 trumps, and the question of how to hold the red-suit losers to one.

Eventually declarer gave up on worrying about 4-0 trump, since he wanted to preserve entries to his hand. He played off the king and queen of trump, then came to hand with the ace. Next he tried a low heart towards the queen. The idea was that if East won with the king there would still be time to try the diamond finesse.

However, it was West who produced the king and he returned a heart. Now, with no other entry to hand, South was reduced to overtaking the heart queen and finessing unsuccessfully in diamonds.

South was right to try the hearts before the diamonds but what he missed was that he must attack hearts at trick two. Then, if the heart king is onside, he can unblock the heart queen and come to hand with the trump ace to arrange his discard in the fullness of time.



With a balanced 18-20 count, the best way to describe your hand is to double first then bid two no-trump. The absence of a heart stopper is a little worrying, particularly since partner did not bid the suit; but they haven’t led the suit yet – and who knows, dummy may produce an honor there, if necessary?

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 10
 Q 4
 A K J
♣ K Q 9 8 7
South West North East
    Pass 1 ♠
Dbl. 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, April 25th, 2017

It isn’t the first-hand information that makes the best speech, but second-hand timing.

Hal Chadwick


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

J

In today’s deal your two no-trump rebid suggests a balanced 12-14 and North wisely opts for the major-suit game, seeing the aces as more useful in a suit. Game is certainly easier to make in spades than in no-trump. You appear to need a trump break, and some decent luck along the way. In fact, though, you need very little to work for you, so long as you time the hand well, though you have to be careful to avoid the threat of over-ruffs in clubs.

The defenders lead the heart jack, and you win it with the ace. Next comes a club to the king and West’s ace – good news from your perspective, since now the threat of a trump promotion against you is considerably reduced. West can do no better than return a heart, which you win with the king. Now comes the club queen, followed by the spade king and a spade to the ace.

With the defenders now holding the master trump, you take a club ruff, and can deal with the 4-2 club break in your stride. You cross to dummy with a heart ruff, trump another club, to establish the suit, and cross to dummy for the last time by leading a diamond to the ace.

You can now advance your 13th club, discarding a diamond from hand, with nine tricks in the bag. The defenders can either allow you to take this trick, or they can ruff in and allow you to score your remaining trump later.


Your partner’s call is forcing, suggesting a limit raise or better in spades. You have just enough extras to be unwilling to sign off in two spades. I believe the options are to temporize with an ostensibly natural two hearts, or my choice, which would be to bid two no-trump, a natural call, showing some extras.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 7 6 5 3
 K 5 2
 Q 7 3
♣ K Q
South West North East
      1
1 ♠ Pass 2 Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, April 24th, 2017

There’s a good time coming boys, A good time coming.

Charles Mackay


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

Q

In today’s deal a complex auction sees you flirting with a grand slam before settling for 12 tricks. You win the lead of the heart queen and test trumps; bad news!

It may seem you cannot now avoid losing both a trump and a heart. But an alternative perspective may help: you actually have seven winners in the side suits. If you can manage to single in all five of your trumps in hand, that will add up to 12.

Start by cashing your three top trumps, then take your second heart winner, followed by the two top clubs. Next you play the king and ace of diamonds (of course if East can ruff any of these winners you will go down like a stone, but luck is with you so far). The time has come to start scoring your low trumps. So you ruff a club low, then cross your fingers and return to dummy with the diamond queen. When East follows suit, you are home.

The last two cards in your hand are the spade six and a heart loser. When you lead the fourth club from dummy, East can either ruff with his master trump, letting you discard your heart loser and score your trump at trick 13, or discard at trick 12 and let you ruff the club with your last trump. Contract made!

For this line to succeed, you need East to hold at least three diamonds, two hearts and two clubs, and to be unable to discard from a three-card diamond suit on the third club.


When you are dealt a sequence on lead, do you go for it or lead partner’s suit? Put me down in favor of a club, though I admit it is close. Since partner’s opening suit may be relatively short (or weak) I feel I should go with what is in front of me. Partnership discipline comes second.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 4 3 2
 Q 4
 10 6 3
♣ Q J 9 8
South West North East
    1 1
Pass 2 All pass  

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

I held five clubs to the ace-king-jack and four hearts to the queen-jack, with two small doubletons, and heard my partner open one diamond. I elected to respond two clubs and when my partner raised to three clubs I tried three hearts — and played there! Did I do something wrong? And should I have responded one heart or two clubs initially?

Polar Vortex, Harrisburg, Pa.

You did nothing wrong here. New suits by responder are absolutely forcing and here three hearts showed hearts (typically four) and a game-forcing hand looking for no-trump, hearts, or a reversion to clubs. Incidentally, unless playing two over one, passing three clubs on your hand would also have been possible. If unwilling to risk forcing to game here, an initial response of one heart would also be possible, but I prefer your route with such concentrated values.

Just recently I read a deal where a player as a passed hand responded two clubs to one heart with a singleton club and nine points. Do people use this call as a cue-bid after passing?

Gold Rush, Little Rock, Ark.

The response of two clubs is part of a popular convention called Drury. As a passed hand in response to a major-suit opening in third or fourth seat, you play one no-trump as natural, a simple raise as five to nine HCP, and give up the call of two clubs as natural. Instead it shows a maximum pass with three or four trump in support.

Somebody told me that there was a top bridge player who had won a Nobel Prize. Is this true?

Mary Poppins, Albany, Ga.

Until recently the closest I knew that bridge players had got to a Nobel prize winner were Jan Martel and the late Henry Bethe, children of Milton Friedman and Hans Bethe respectively. However, Icelander Magnus Olafsson was part of the Nobel peace-prize winning U.N. team a decade ago. He now lives in New York and has taken up the game seriously again.

My partner opened one spade and I held ♠ K-10-2,  Q-2,  K-6, ♣ A-Q-J-7-3-2. Playing two over one I responded two clubs and rebid two spades over his call of two diamonds. Now he jumped to four clubs, and I was unable to guess what he might have for this action. Is there a logical way to deduce what he was showing?

Guessing Game, Woodland Hills, Calif.

Your partner cannot have four clubs or he would raise at once, and he cannot have three clubs or he would support at the three-level instead of jumping now. So, unlikely as it might be, perhaps he has a club void, setting spades as trump. I think I have just enough to bid four diamonds as a cuebid with the idea of letting partner make all the running from here on in.

With: ♠ K-J-10-7-3,  Q-2,  A-10-6-4, ♣ Q-2 I assume you would open one spade and rebid two spades over a response of two hearts. What should you do over a three club continuation — would you raise hearts or bid no-trump?

Selfish Giant, Bremerton, Wash.

I would suggest a different answer to the ones you propose. Here three no-trump seems wrong with such good hearts, but raising hearts might persuade partner I have three. I prefer to bid three diamonds, the fourth suit, suggesting doubt as to where we belong. I’ll raise my partner’s hearts if he rebids them, bid three no-trump over a three spade call, and pass a three no-trump bid.


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, April 22nd, 2017

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block.

Jennifer Lopez et al


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

♣3

In today’s deal from a Cavendish pairs tournament 15 years ago, Bob Hamman did very well in the auction and Zia Mahmood did equally well in the play.

Hamman’s quantitative four no-trump gave Zia the chance to opt for slam in diamonds, and after a club lead, Zia put in the 10. Then he cashed the diamond ace, came to hand in clubs, and drew trump.

Now he knew West, Geir Helgemo, had the heart ace and the club jack, so East was a favorite to hold the spade king. (Zia could also see that if this were the case, six no-trump would go down). So Zia cashed the spade ace and ran the queen, to make 13 tricks.

On the same deal, George Jacobs found a very nice play here to defeat the slam, when given a chance by declarer. Norberto Bocchi reached six diamonds on an unopposed sequence and received a club lead from Jacobs.

Bocchi won it in hand and played a spade to the ace, ruffed a spade, then played a diamond to the ace, ruffed a spade with the diamond 10, and cashed the diamond king-queen.

At this point he led a club toward dummy, intending to insert the 10 to create an extra dummy entry to finish ruffing out the spades and then cash them. But Jacobs crossed him up by inserting the club jack to block the suit, and deny declarer the extra entry he required.

Now Bocchi needed the heart finesse — and when it failed, he was set one trick.



Are you worth bidding on to three clubs in competition? This is not a simple question to answer, since my instincts tell me it is right to bid but partner will hope for, or even expect, more. I will bid three clubs, but I’m certainly conflicted about it.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 6 4
 A J 8 7 5
 9 7
♣ J 9 6 3
South West North East
    1 Pass
1 1 ♠ 2 ♣ 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 21st, 2017

If… the past may be no Rule for the future, all Experience becomes useless and can give rise to no Inferences or Conclusions.

David Hume


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

Monday, April 17th:

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

♠K

Part of the secret of bridge is drawing inferences from the bids that are made, as well as the ones that aren’t. In this deal from the Cavendish Invitation Pairs, playing with the late Sidney Lazard, Bart Bramley drew an interesting conclusion to bring home his delicate contract of four diamonds.

West led the spade king and continued with a low spade. Bramley put up the jack to see which honor East had, trying to develop a count on his opponents’ high cards. He ruffed the spade, then drew two rounds of trump ending in dummy, and tried a club to his king. When that held, he led a third diamond to dummy and played a second club.

Michael Cornell, sitting East, took his ace and exited safely with a third club. Bramley won in hand, and now was able to build up a picture of his opponents’ assets.

East’s cuebid raise had shown a maximum pass; this meant that he rated to hold both the club and heart aces and the spade queen. So Bart decided he was not a favorite also to hold the heart jack. Since his partnership were playing the weak no-trump, East might have opened the bidding with that card in addition to his known 10-count, whether or not he had the club jack.

So Bart tabled the heart 10, and now whether West covered this or not Bramley was able to make his contract. Had West put up his jack, declarer would eventually have been able to finesse successfully against the heart nine.


The double followed by a cuebid shows a really good hand asking for more information. In context you now have enough to expect game to make. But without a four-card major and a club stopper, the route forward isn’t clear. I would return the favor to my partner by cuebidding three clubs, hoping partner can provide us with a direction as to which game to head towards.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 8 2
 Q 6 3
 K J 7 6
♣ 9 5 3
South West North East
  1 ♣ Dbl. 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: Thursday, April 20th, 2017

Human kind Cannot bear very much reality.

T. S. Eliot


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

♣8

The Cavendish Pairs was held in Nevada for 15 years from the mid 1990’s onward, after the tournament moved from New York. It attracted players from all around the world, and boasted the largest cash prizes of any bridge tournament, with a prize pool well in excess of a million dollars.

This deal from 20 years ago shows Michel Abecassis taking advantage of a defensive slip to bring home a very tough game contract against Simon De Wijs and Ricco van Prooijen of the Netherlands.

After a club lead, Abecassis might have tried to run the lead round to his hand. The defenders would then have won and got in with the diamond ace to play a third club, and declarer would almost certainly have gone down now.

Instead, declarer rose with the club ace at trick one and drew three rounds of trumps with the aid of the finesse. Next he led a diamond to the king and ace, and back came a sneaky low heart.

Michel guessed well when he flew up with the king and exited with a low heart. East was forced to win the ace and cash the club king, then exit with the club jack. Abecassis ruffed this and ran all of his trumps, reducing to a position sometimes referred to as a pop-up or show-up squeeze.

On the last trump West had to keep his heart and thus came down to one diamond. But now Michel could play a diamond to the queen in the expectation that the jack would fall from East.



The action on this hand is somewhat dependent on vulnerability. I think there is a reasonable case for saying that in second seat at all but favorable vulnerability this is a maximum weak two bid; but that it would be just too strong in that instance. Some would say that it qualifies at the fourth vulnerability too. I can live with that, but suggest you and your partner agree which side of the line it falls.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A J 9 7 5 2
 K 7
 8 7 2
♣ Q 5
South West North East
      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, April 19th, 2017

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

Lennon and McCartney


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

♣5

The Cavendish Teams threw up this problem for me, 20 years or so ago. I was South, partnered by my old friend Seymon Deutsch. Seymon may have done rather too much here, but he did at least leave me in a playable spot and provide me with a good story.

In three no-trump I received a club lead to dummy’s six and East’s eight. I won this in hand to advance the spade jack, which I was pleased to see covered by West. I won dummy’s ace, and returned a spade to the 10 and West’s king. The defense exited passively in spades.

It wasn’t clear what to do next, but I tried a club to the 10 and East’s jack, and East now shifted to hearts, letting me take West’s 10 with dummy’s king (yes it would have been better to win the ace and exit in hearts). This let me take the club ace, and now a fourth club compelled both defenders to pitch diamonds. Next I crossed to my hand on the last round of spades.

At this point West was able to come down to two hearts and the doubleton diamond king; but what could East do? If he also reduced to two hearts and two diamonds I would exit with a heart and would score two diamonds tricks in the end-game, one way or another. So East correctly bared his diamond jack. But that let me lead the diamond queen out of my hand to pin his jack, and collect the two diamond tricks I needed to make my contract.



This sequence shows game-forcing values and clubs, typically with four hearts. Your controls are so excellent I would bypass three no-trump and raise to four clubs, treating this hand as a maximum because of the aces. Let partner make the running from here on in.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 8 5 4
 K 4 3
 A 9
♣ A 10 7 6
South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 ♣ 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.