Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

The blazing evidence of immortality is our dissatisfaction with any other solution.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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

* Hearts or the black suits

♠8

Today’s deal came from a correspondent who supplied me with his missed chance for immortality, as usual identified a day too late.

West’s bid of three clubs was an improvisation, designed to confuse, and in a sense he was right; his side had a cheap sacrifice in spades, but the question was whether five hearts would make.

My correspondent ducked the opening spade lead, hoping East would contribute the ace; when this failed, he drew trump in two rounds and ruffed out spades for a diamond discard. However the 5-0 club break was too much for him, and he finished up losing three tricks in the minors. It was only on the next day that one of his opponents pointed out that he had missed his chance.

When the chance at trick one fails, declarer should have used trump entries to ruff out the spade ace, and then pitched a club not a diamond on the top spade. Since East was almost guaranteed to have 5-2-1-5 shape, he must therefore have a singleton diamond honor, given West’s failure to lead a top diamond at trick one. So the play is to exit from dummy with a small diamond, felling East’s ace, ruff the spade return, and play a second diamond, catching West in a Morton’s Fork coup. If he takes his diamond king there are two discards for the clubs; if not, the only losers are a club and a diamond.



These days Leaping Michaels is a popular treatment after your opponents open with a weak two bid. Here a jump to four clubs would show clubs and a major – which would seem ideal. However you need a better hand than this to take the action. A simple call of two spades (hoping to get another chance) is the most sensible course of action.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A J 10 6 5
 J 4
 A
♣ K 10 7 6 3
South West North East
      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: Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Mind of Man My haunt, and the main region of my song.

William Wordsworth


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

5

Neither North nor South held back on this deal. North’s five diamond call was a cuebid in support of spades, and a further exchange of cuebids saw North at his next turn guarantee first round heart control when he bid six diamonds, since he was looking for a grand slam when South had denied the heart ace. Now South decided the grand slam was unlikely to be worse than a diamond finesse.

West led the heart five against seven spades, and declarer saw that there was no rush to take the diamond finesse. After winning the heart lead in hand, then entering dummy with a top trump, declarer ruffed a club in hand. Now he repeated the process, then cashed the remaining hearts and ran all but one of his trumps. When East turned up with only two cards in the majors, the prospects of a diamond finesse succeeding were poor, but look what happened to East when declarer discarded dummy’s small diamonds on the trumps.

In the four-card ending South had reduced to one trump and three diamonds, while dummy had two clubs and the diamond ace-king. That left East struggling for a discard from his three diamonds to the queen and the club ace-queen. If he threw a club, dummy’s ten could be established with a ruff; when he parted with a diamond, declarer cashed both of dummy’s diamonds. Now South’s diamond jack became a winner, while he still had a trump in hand to reach it.

 


The underlying message from this auction will not be agreed by everyone, but I believe that at this point in the auction one should not try to improve the partscore. With a bad hand, one passes three clubs and hopes for the best. A call of three hearts here is natural suggesting extra hearts and not a complete bust, and seems the right call now.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 7 4 3
 J 9 8 5 4 2
 6 2
♣ K 3
South West North East
  1 ♠ Dbl. 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

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

One has not only an ability to perceive the world but an ability to alter one’s perception of it; more simply, one can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.

Tom Robbins


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

♣2

John Armstrong’s death some six years ago robbed England of one of its finest players. He was in action on today’s hand demonstrating some neat inferential card reading.

The bidding in both rooms to three no-trump saw the lead was the lead of the club two, to the three, jack and king. The first declarer set up his clubs by conceding a trick to West’s 10.That player’s low heart switch went to the ace, and when South played low on the heart return, the defenders could set up hearts and cash the 13th heart when East got in with the spade ace.

In our second room Armstrong drew the right inference from the lead as to West’s distribution. Given that most defenders would prefer to lead a major when Stayman has not been employed, the lead from a broken four-card suit suggested that West might have no second four-card suit. Instead of continuing with clubs and setting up a winner there for the opponents, Armstrong played on diamonds at trick two.

West won the second diamond and shifted to the heart two. East took the ace and returned the three, but since West’s low heart two suggested that West might hold a heart honor, declarer rose with the king, blocking the hearts.

Next he dislodged the spade ace, and although East could play a heart to West’s queen, nothing could now stop declarer from regaining the lead. At that point he could take three clubs, three diamonds, two spades and one heart for his contract.



While you have a maximum for your initial call, you have no clear way forward, and it seems like a breach of the law of total tricks to advance to the three-level with only three-card support. A three-club call here would suggest six, and a hand suited to offense than this, but it may be the least lie. Double would be penalty here, by the way, and pass could easily work out here.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 5
 J 9 4
 Q 4 3
♣ A Q 7 5 3
South West North East
    1 Pass
2 Pass 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: Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

Better the day, better the deed.

Thomas Middleton


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

♣8

The European open championships in San Remo saw a couple of British teams collect medals. Today’s deal comes from the de Botton team’s successful quarterfinal encounter against a strong Dutch squad.

The Dutch North-South had failed to reach slam here, but in the other room Artur Malinowski and Janet de Botton played six spades on the auction shown.

Janet de Botton found a successful line of play. She won the diamond ace, cashed dummy’s heart ace and played a heart back towards her king. It would not have done East any good to ruff thin air, so he threw a club, and declarer won her king and exited with a heart. When West won and continued the suit, declarer ruffed high in the dummy, then cashed the spade king and ran the spade 10, finessing East for the jack. When the spade 10 held, she crossed to hand with a club, drew the last trump, and claimed the remainder.

An alternative, and perhaps safer, approach would have been a dummy reversal. Declarer wins the opening lead, cashes the diamond ace and ruffs a diamond, plays a spade to the ace and ruffs a diamond. Then he cashes the spade queen, and plays a club to dummy. Now he ruffs a diamond, leads another club to dummy, and draws the last trump, pitching a heart from hand. He can cash one further heart and club winner, simply conceding a heart at the end.



It is very tempting to raise partner; after all one is always told to support with support. Here I’m dubious as to whether this is right, as your whole hand is defense to diamonds, and your partner may picture a more offensively oriented hand than this. Nonetheless I will raise, with misgivings. With the spade 10 instead of the jack, I pass.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 8 3
 J
 K J 7 5
♣ 10 9 7 6 5
South West North East
Pass Pass 1 ♠ 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, April 28th, 2015

It’s sometimes funny to watch some people doing something the wrong way but doing it confidently. Even more funny, they succeeded.

Toby Beta


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

5

Fred Gitelman is the chief executive of Bridge Base Online, by far the best way to play bridge online. It offers the opportunity to play or learn bridge and there are several invaluable teaching tools available. Plus you get the chance to watch the top players in the world, live on Vugraph.

He showed me a nice point of technique on the following deal. You might consider it routine but as the score indicated, good technique paid dividends. As South he declared four spades, and with the club finesse succeeding, the play was all about overtricks. On a diamond lead, he had to ruff a diamond in dummy. Now he led the spade four from dummy and when East played low, he went up with the queen.

Lucky or well judged? If spades are 2-2, his play is immaterial but if spades are 3-1, the only singleton he can pick up is the jack – since if West has a singleton ace or king you have three losers whatever you do. Because you cannot influence the majority of distributions, you should play to influence the ones over which you do have control.

Of course if you had an extra trump in dummy (let’s say you had the diamond queen instead of the jack) you can use your two entries to dummy to lead to the spade nine and 10. But as the cards lie this is not possible since you had to burn one of dummy’s trumps to ruff the losing diamond from the South hand.



My best guess would be to bid four hearts – which is what you were surely intending to bid had East passed. Once in a while hands like this produce lots of tricks on offense, but declarer can run the diamond suit in one no-trump doubled. So I would be reluctant to try to defend here. And if East is playing silly games, let him try and sort that out at the five-level on the next round.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 4 3
 K J 9 8 4
 3
♣ A J 8 6 5
South West North East
  1 Dbl. 1 NT
?      

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, April 27th, 2015

The remedy is worse than the disease.

Francs Bacon


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

K

As declarer there are worse things that could happen to suffering a ruff. Consider today’s deal, which came up in a Swiss Teams match, both declarers reached the contract of four spades. One declarer won the diamond lead and led a low club from hand to West’s nine and dummy’s king. East worked out to hold off, and declarer was now worried enough by the threat of a club ruff to draw all the trump.

Then he led a club to the 10, but East held off again, and now he was left with a club and three red suit losers, since there was no entry to the board.

In the other room the lead was the same. The diamond king went to the ace, and now came a club to the king, ducked again. Next came the spade ace, and a spade to the jack.

But the second declarer judged correctly when he reverted to clubs. West could receive a club ruff, and cash his long diamond, but declarer could win the heart ace and cross to dummy with the spade queen to take dummy’s two club winners, on which he could discard both his heart losers.

This deal reinforces the importance of giving count as a defender when you think your partner needs to know how many cards you have in a suit. Be aware that sometimes count helps declarer more than your partner; deciding which situation you are in is not that easy a task.



Although there are unlikely scenarios in which a top diamond could be right, if declarer is threatening to build the hearts or spades for a discard, I suspect a diamond will cost more often than it would gain. Put me down for a mundane small heart lead – and not the heart seven or nine under any circumstances.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 3 2
 9 7 4
 K Q 10 3
♣ 8 5
South West North East
    3 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, April 26th, 2015

In third chair I held: ♠ Q-10-5-3, J-7-5, K-5, ♣ K-J-7-3, and heard my partner open one heart. Can you comment on the merits of the direct raise, a response of one spade, or starting out with a response of one no-trump.

Mixing it up, Memphis, Tenn.

If you use the direct raise to two hearts as constructive, with a one no-trump response as forcing, I’d raise directly. Try not to jump raise (either immediately or at the second turn) with a mundane 10-count – which this surely is. I would not respond one spade unless I planned to jump to three hearts facing my partner’s response. And I’d try to have good spades for that auction if I did.

Is Drury the answer to all problems when facing a potentially light third-in-hand opener? Is there not the risk of losing the club suit as a passed hand?

Gumboots, Rockford, Ill.

Drury (the passed hand response of two clubs to a majorsuit opening showing a maximum pass, and a fit) has many plusses. It keeps you low on occasions, and lets you explore the right game efficiently. You minimize the risk you describe if you stretch to open one club with 11 points and six clubs in first or second chair. With fewer points, pass, then respond one no-trump (or three clubs if necessary).

My partner and I disagreed over a recent hand. I had: ♠ A-J-5-2, 10-8-7-5-4, Q-2, ♣ J-4, when you hear your partner open one no-trump? I chose to use Stayman and pass the response of two spades, judging that I had improved the contract already. Nine tricks were the limit on the hand, but my partner said I owed him a bid. Any thoughts?

Head Cook, West Palm Beach, Fla.

I would use Stayman as you did, planning to bid two no-trump over a two diamond response. But I would have raised two spades to three, and would have raised a two heart response to game – so I feel you did not do enough, irrespective of the result actually achieved on this hand.

I play the rule of 15 to decide whether to open a fourth hand (adding my HCP points to the number of spades I hold.) A person I respect says I should have 16 pts. How many points do your recommend?

Pearson Pointer, Vancouver, British Columbia

Don’t be guided by that rule alone. With 13 or more HCP open, and don’t worry about such issues. With 11-12, look at your controls and ease of rebid. Consider the vulnerability (always open unfavorable, since neither opponent bid when they had the chance, and partner might pass 11-12 hands in 2nd). At favorable be more discreet – partner didn’t open when he might have done! Certainly use 15 not 16 as the guideline. You paid your entry fee; bid when you can.

When considering whether to open two no-trump, should you be put off by holding a weak doubleton? I assume a five-card major is not a serious drawback, but what about a five-card minor AND a four-card major? I recently held: ♠ A-Q-7-3, 9-5, A-Q-J-7-5, ♣ A-K, and elected to open one diamond. My partner disagreed with my perception of the hand’s flaws for an opening of two notrump. What do you think?

Lincoln Lawyer, Riverside, Calif.

I agree with you that opening two no-trump unnecessarily preempts yourself when you have an easy and far more descriptive route available, namely to open one diamond and then to jump or reverse into spades. Sometimes one settles for a two no-trump opening when all the alternatives are more seriously flawed, but not today.


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, April 25th, 2015

Tugging all day at perverse life: The indignity of it!

Theodore Roethke


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

* Four+ spades

A

In today’s deal West opened two hearts at one table, showing a weak hand with hearts and a minor. North, quite reasonably, chose to overcall three diamonds. East jumped to four hearts and when South passed it out, rather than doubling, that ended the auction. Worse, when North ducked his spade ace, West stole his game.

At the other table, on the auction shown, the defense to four spades did not tax declarer. West led the heart ace and switched to a club. East won the ace and returned a club, and declarer could lose a trick to the spade king before drawing trump and claiming the rest.

It is more difficult if the defenders play on hearts instead. Declarer has only one winning move now, which is to play a low spade from the dummy. Best is for East to duck this, and now declarer must play for the bad trump break and abandon trumps.

It is not good enough simply to try to run diamonds; (if he does, East ruffs and declarer overruffs, crosses to dummy with the trump ace and runs the diamonds, on which East discards all his losers. In the three-card ending dummy must play a black card, whereupon East’s hand will be high.)

Instead, declarer must overtake the diamond king with dummy’s ace and play a club, setting up the trick he needs while he is still in control. He can ruff the next heart in hand and revert to diamonds, after which East can score only his trump trick.



Assuming you play the forcing no-trump in response to an opening bid, is there ever a hand where you would be tempted to pass the response? Yes, and this is it, since your option would be to bid two clubs on a doubleton or to rebid those feeble hearts and promise six in the process. So does your partner have a sense of humor? Now might be the moment to find out…

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 9 4 2
 K 8 7 4 3
 8 4
♣ A Q
South West North East
1 Pass 1 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: Friday, April 24th, 2015

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.

Herman Wouk


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

♠8

Cardinal Morton was Chancellor and tax-gatherer for King Henry VII. His argument was that if the merchant had an ostentatious lifestyle, he could well afford to contribute generously. However, if he lived frugally, then he must have salted his money away, so the same would apply.

North-South were playing oldfashioned strong jump shifts, and when North showed a very strong balanced hand South found a unsophisticated jump to slam. The contract was far from comfortable (there are only nine top tricks, after all) but South found a way home.

West’s passive spade lead was won in dummy. South played a diamond to hand, then neatly impaled West on the prongs of Morton’s Fork by leading the club seven.

Let us see what happens if West takes the king. On a heart return, South needs to take care. He wins the ace, unblock clubs, crosses to dummy’s second heart winner and then takes the club queen. If the jack does not fall, he crosses back to hand in diamonds, tests hearts, and finally will try to run spades if neither hearts nor clubs have behaved. Today, by virtue of the jacks descending in the rounded suits, declarer comes to three spades, four hearts, two diamonds and three clubs without needing spades to behave.

If West withholds the club king at trick two, declarer puts up the queen and can then set up a fourth trick in spades, eventually taking four tricks in each major and two in each minor.



The choice here is a call of two clubs or a bid of two no-trump. The latter gets across the invitational nature of the hand, while not the skewed honor structure and the side four-card suit. The two club call may lead to a missed game facing a hand with no fit but 8-9 HCP say. Overall, though, if your partner does not pass the two club bid it lets you follow up to show the extras and leaves you far better placed.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K Q 10 2
 A Q
 5 2
♣ Q 10 5 3
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 1 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: Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes Error a fault and truth a discourtesy.

George Herbert


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

♠7

In today’s deal from a team game you arrive in three notrump, against which West leads the spade seven, East playing the jack. How should you play the contract?

Unless the club ace is doubleton (or singleton), you will score only two club tricks. The defenders will hold up the club ace until the third round, to cut you off from the dummy. You should begin by playing the club queen, overtaking with dummy’s king when West plays the five. As you expected, the defenders will hold up their club ace. What next?

If the club ace is now bare, you can succeed simply by playing another round of clubs. This is somewhat against the odds, (because the four and five have appeared on the first round of the suit – which indicates someone has played a singleton and someone has three clubs) but you do have a better play available.

That chance is to take the heart finesse, which is around a 50-50 shot. At trick three you play a heart to the queen and the finesse wins. You can then continue with a second club to dummy’s eight, ducked again by East to kill that suit. However, since you are in dummy again, you can repeat the heart finesse. Hearts do not break 3-3 but you have nine tricks anyway — two spades, three hearts and two tricks in each of the minor suits.

Nicely done – but let’s hope that the North-South pair of the other team didn’t bid six clubs!



With such a choice of four-card suits to bid, is there a right answer? (Anyone who bid one no-trump will be sent to bed without supper.) Yes, respond one heart here, hoping to find a major-suit fit if there is one. If you bid one diamond, your partner may bypass his own four-card major, expecting you to have bid a major with a hand of less than invitational values.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 9 6 2
 K 10 6 2
 J 8 6 2
♣ 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.