Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 6th, 2017

I can see clearly now the rain is gone, I can see all obstacles in my way.

Jimmy Cliff


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

9

In today’s hand South’s hand is best described by an immediate jump to three no-trump, suggesting a balanced game-force with a balanced 13-15 points. When North moves on, he is suggesting a balanced 18-19 count. South would be prepared to offer clubs as a trump suit if he had four but not here, and his controls suggest moving directly to the no-trump slam.

The defenders make the natural, but helpful, heart lead. However, despite being gifted the solution to locating the heart queen, the contract is by no means cold. How should declarer play the hand to best advantage?

Good technique here is to win the opening lead in hand and lay down the club ace, just in case East has a singleton honor, then lead a club, planning to duck an honor from West or to cover a small card. By giving up your loser at once, it makes the rest of the hand much easier to play.

You can now win the heart return and cash the third heart, then all the spades. You next test clubs and find out who began with the club length. In the process of delaying the diamond guess, you get a very full picture of the major suit distributions, since one defender or the other will show out in each suit.

Here, you will find West has five hearts, precisely two spades, and can be counted for four clubs. So cash the diamond ace and queen, and in the two-card ending, finesse against the jack with confidence.


When deciding between an active and passive lead you should ask yourself if you think your cards lie well or badly for the opponents, and if they sound like they are stretching. Here there is no suggestion that the opponents are especially limited, and spades and diamonds do not appear to be lying so badly. All of that suggests going active on lead, with a small heart not a club.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ J 10 4
 K 9 3
 Q 4
♣ J 8 6 3 2
South West North East
  1 Pass 1 ♠
Pass 3 ♠ Pass 4 ♠
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, March 5th, 2017

I had been thinking of going to the spring nationals next week, since they are on my doorstep. Will there be events suitable for non-experts?

Playing Up, Kansas City, Mo.

The Nationals run from 8-19th March, and on every day at 10 a.m. they have separate games for newcomers and intermediate players, with separate sections in regional games for rather more advanced nonexperts. There are also days with free lessons. The ACBL will provide you with more details, at 901-332-5586. And the ACBL bulletin has all the details.

When I first learned to play, 40 years ago, I was taught that a double over a pre-emptive opening or overcall was for penalty. Has that changed, and, if so, why?

Forcing the Issue, Orlando, Fla.

The double of a preempt is nowadays universally played as take-out, both over and under the trumps. This is not because you won’t want to double for penalty occasionally, but because you are more likely to be short not long in their suit. Reserve the double for a common, not uncommon, occasion. After they open, negative doubles are now more common than penalty doubles, for the same reason. Rest assured, a thoughtful partner will try to re-open with a take-out double when short in their suit.

What are the factors to consider in making a light response to partner’s opening bid, when you are simply trying to improve the contract? How do position and vulnerability factor into the equation?

Staying Alive, San Luis Obispo, Calif.

If your partner opens a minor in first or second seat, you will often strive to improve the contract when short in that suit and holding 3-5 points, whatever the colors. That happens less often facing a major-suit opening, I find. Note that when facing a third or fourth in hand opening bid, you do not need to worry about silencing the opponents. They would generally have bid by now if it was their hand.

Holding ♠ A-Q-J-9-8-2, —, Q-2, ♣ Q-10-9-5-3, you open the bidding with one spade, of course. When your partner responds with the Jacoby two no-trump showing a game-forcing hand with spade support, what should you show first, your second suit or your shortness?

Show and Tell, Elkhart, Ind.

A jump to four clubs would show a second suit but it ought to be one headed by two top honors. So I suggest you show your shortage initially, with a call of three hearts, and now if you rebid hearts that would show either a singleton ace, or a void.

Not vulnerable against vulnerable, would you risk intervening at the two-level with a pre-emptive overcall on a hand such as: ♠ Q-4, K-J-7-6-5-2, Q-8-5, ♣ 10-4 when your RHO opens one club? What are the factors that influence your decision here?

Raise the Roof, Great Falls, Mont.

It is always more fun to bid than to pass. Your suit is good enough to bid on when nonvulnerable; and you might well find that if you end up on defense you will score your queens, because declarer figures you are short in the side suits! With the heart 10 instead of the two, I’d expect almost every expert would act, and most would bid with your actual hand, albeit with a few misgivings.


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, March 4th, 2017

I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air.

Kendis, Brockman and Vincent


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

♠K

In baseball a hitter is regarded as a huge success if he only fails seven times in 10. I occasionally have had to wonder if my own success rate hovers around the same average.

This hand comes from the Macallan tournament two decades ago. At one table Alfredo Versace declared an apparently awkward six heart slam here on the auction shown. After the lead of a top spade, Versace ruffed three diamonds in dummy, using a trump, club and spade ruff to reenter his hand. When he laid down the top trumps he ended up with all 13 tricks.

By contrast, I declared six clubs, which looks easier to make, but I had received an enterprising pre-emptive jump overcall in spades from Lars Blakset with the West hand.

After a top spade lead I set about the same cross-ruff, ruffing three diamonds in dummy, using a top heart and a spade ruff as reentries to hand. When the heart 10 fell I now thought I knew East, Jens Auken, had begun life with precisely 2=4=4=3 pattern. So I led dummy’s high trump and overtook it (setting up East’s 10) and played two more rounds of trump to leave East on lead.

If he had three hearts left, as did both dummy and declarer, he would be endplayed to lead a heart round to the jack, and I could finesse the heart nine on the way back, for a very elegant 12 tricks.

But Auken produced an impossible spade, down went the contract, and my chance of a brilliancy prize went up in smoke.


Your partner’s two diamond call suggests real extras, but is consistent with say a 17-19 count with no diamond stopper and only three spades. Regardless, you have a straightforward jump to four spades, suggesting five spades and extras. If your partner actually has a game-forcing hand with a club or heart suit he will bid it next – and you will probably raise to slam.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K Q 9 8 6
 Q 10
 9 7 6 3
♣ 4 2
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: Friday, March 3rd, 2017

Insight is not a lightbulb that goes off inside our heads. It is a flickering candle that can easily be snuffed out.

Malcolm Gladwell


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

♣K

Today’s deal saw South compete to three spades at his first turn by virtue of his nice shape. When his partner doubled four hearts to show extra values it was relatively clear because of his lack of defense to remove to four spades.

At the table the defenders led the club king, and continued with the queen, then jack, overtaken by East for a trump shift. What happened at the table was that declarer won in dummy and ran six rounds of trumps, on which West carefully discarded four hearts, baring his heart king, then finally a diamond, trying to simulate a man who was being forced to unguard diamonds. At this point declarer had to make a pitch from dummy with the ace-queen of hearts and ace-queen-third of diamonds left. He got it wrong when he discarded the heart queen, playing for the diamonds to run, and now had to go down.

Declarer would have done better with a slightly counter-intuitive strategy here. He should win the spade ace and does best first to cash the heart ace, then run all the trumps.

For this line to succeed, all declarer requires is for West to hold the heart king, and at least three diamonds to the king. By cashing the heart ace early, it saves you any guess as to which cards West has kept. If the heart king is not discarded, you will know to pitch the heart queen from dummy at trick 10, and hope that the diamonds will be running.


Jump to two no-trump showing your range as 18-19 high card points. You should not worry about the absence of a club stopper, since you have three cards in that suit. For the record, if you had a doubleton club and three hearts you might consider inventing a force of two spades, planning to raise hearts at the next turn, I suppose.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K 2
 A Q
 A Q 7 5 4
♣ 8 6 3
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: Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

I do not know which makes a man more conservative – to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past.

John Maynard Keynes


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

♠K

When South opens one heart, West does his best to disrupt his opponents by pre-empting to the three level. It now looks natural for East to sacrifice in four spades over four hearts, but had he passed, might it have ended the auction?

As it is, South seems to have enough to compete over four spades to the five level, and maybe even to look for slam. The five club call lets North show some suitability and a diamond control, with a return cuebid of five diamonds, and that should be just enough for South to bite the bullet and bid slam.

In six hearts, after a top spade lead, you simply need to avoid losing a club, and must leave playing the suit as long as possible. Win the spade lead, draw trump by cashing the ace and leading the eight to the king, then play a diamond toward your queen. When East ducks, you win your queen and duck a diamond. East wins and returns a spade. You ruff high, lead the heart seven to the jack, and ruff a diamond high, as West follows suit again.

At this point you should count out West’s hand. He apparently started with seven spades, three or more diamonds, and two hearts, so he does not have room for more than one club.

So the winning play is clear: lead a club to the king, then follow up with a club to the nine. Next cross back to dummy with your trump three to the four, to lead a club to the jack.


Whatever your agreement in a non-competitive auction about how to continue after your partner reverses, showing real extras with both minors, competitive auctions present a different problem. A reversion to three clubs or three diamonds should not be forcing now. It is better to start with a cuebid of two spades, to set up a forcing sequence.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 4
 K J 3 2
 K 8 5
♣ K 7 5 3
South West North East
    1 ♣ Pass
1 1 ♠ 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: Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

The voice of Nature loudly cries And many a message from the skies That something in us never dies.

Robert Burns


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

*strong

K

Although defenders must not exchange information illicitly, they can legitimately try to use the size of the card they play to indicate their attitude to the suit led. Sometimes they can also pass on their count in the suit led (high for even, low for odd).

Suit preference signals may also come into play, where the size of the card played indicates interest in the higher or lower of the other suits. Exactly the same principles exist when discarding, rather than following suit.

Sooner or later, though, you will find that honesty is not always the best policy. Sometimes you may encourage your partner to continue leading his suit, for fear that he will shift to something worse. Equally, you might discourage your partner’s lead, when you can see that his obvious switch will be the right defense, even when you like the suit led.

In today’s deal you defend four spades after your partner opened two hearts. You should see that if you encourage West’s opening lead of the heart king by showing a doubleton, your partner will surely lead out three rounds of the suit, trying for an over-ruff. That lets the contract make, since declarer can ruff high, then discard a critical club loser on the diamonds – which maybe should not come as a total surprise to you.

If you discourage hearts at the first trick, implicitly showing an odd number of cards in that suit, then maybe partner will find the club switch at trick three?


I could understand the attempt to play for penalties here, by passing out one diamond doubled. Give me the diamond J-10 instead of the four-three and I would consider it even more seriously, but as it is I will try to win the event on the next deal, and simply bid one no-trump.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9 8 6
 9 6
 9 8 7 4 3
♣ A Q 6
South West North East
  1 Dbl. Pass
?      

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

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

Calvin Coolidge


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

9

I normally like to use deals where virtue is rewarded and carelessness punished. That is the case, in a way, with today’s deal; however, although it came close to deciding an international match, it did not quite do so. The margin of the match was just one IMP in favor of the team who failed to bring home game here. So you could argue that at a different vulnerability the unsuccessful declarer might not have slept well that night.

At the unsuccessful declarer’s table, the heart nine was covered by the 10 and ace. South took the losing diamond finesse, and East shifted to the spade six, second highest, denying a decent suit. When declarer won in hand and crossed to the diamond ace to pass the club jack. West lost no time in winning and playing back the heart eight, and now the defenders had five winners.

In the other room when the heart nine was led, declarer correctly ducked in dummy. He won his heart ace and led the diamond queen for the finesse. East won and played back a spade, just as in the other room.

But South made no mistake when he won the spade ace, then played the club ace and another club. West could win and play the heart eight through dummy, but when dummy covered with the 10, the contract was safe.

South had one heart, four clubs and two tricks in each of the other suits, nine in total.


Your partner’s raise here is a serious game try. I’d expect a hand with at least an ace more than an opening bid. Yes you would rather have a fifth heart or a little more shape in the minors, but I think you have enough to bid on to game if you trust your partner. If partner had raised in competition, it would not carry the same guarantee of extras.

BID WITH THE ACES

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

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 27th, 2017

The great majority of those who speak of perfectibility as a dream, do so because they feel that it is one which would afford them no pleasure if it were realized.

John Stuart Mill


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

♠5

Do you like South’s response of three no-trump to the opening one club bid? I cannot say I’m too enthusiastic about it, myself. The point is that your heart holding suggests that partner might be better off as declarer. And when your RHO passes over one club, wouldn’t you want him on lead rather than LHO – who might have a better idea of what to lead against a final contract of three no-trump? I’d prefer to respond one diamond here and let partner get no-trump in at his own convenience.

After a spade lead by West, declarer finds himself distressingly short of straw from which to put together some bricks. He plays the spade jack from dummy, and the first blow comes when East covers with the queen. South cannot afford to duck, for fear of losing four heart tricks on the go.

If clubs break 3-3 declarer needs only three diamond tricks, but if not, he will need some help in the diamond suit, both from a friendly lie of the cards, and friendly opponents.

When South leads the diamond queen from his hand at trick two, West must not cover with the king, for that would allow dummy to win the ace and for declarer then to successfully finesse the nine. If West ducks the diamond king, then although declarer can set up three diamond tricks, he cannot do so without losing a trick in the process. The defenders simply set up spades, and declarer has just eight tricks when clubs do not behave.


You could argue that a trump lead might be necessary to cut down a cross-ruff, but partner may be in a position to over-ruff dummy, and leading a trump might sacrifice our natural trick. (I wouldn’t feel that way with a doubleton heart 10, I think.) So with a choice of minors I would go aggressive and try to set up or cash diamond tricks before they go on dummy’s clubs or declarer’s spades.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 8 7
 J 2
 K 7 3 2
♣ J 5 4
South West North East
    Pass 1 ♠
Pass 1 NT Pass 2
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, February 26th, 2017

I saw a letter from an old-school rubber player asking you about what responder’s cuebid meant when his partner opened the bidding and the next hand overcalled. Does a cuebid always show support, even in a minor?

Fumbling Florence, Trenton, N.J.

In a minor, the support may be somewhat limited but since you didn’t bid the other minor or double, you always have at least three trump. For example, after a one diamond opener from your partner and a one heart overcall, what would you bid with an opening bid with 3-4-3-3 pattern and four small hearts?

After an unsuccessful game, my partner suggested that at pairs a player who had balanced the opponents into game should probably double. His logic was that you were already on a terrible board if game was going to make. Could you comment on this?

Chasing the Rainbow, Doylestown, Pa.

Yes but…sometimes your opponents reach a normal game in an odd fashion – and you were going to get an average if you had not doubled. There is however a time to double; and that is when you figure your contract was going to make (for 140 or 130, say) and thus you need to double to make sure your plusscore exceeds that number.

One of my opponents held a minimum opener: ♠ J-7-3, A-Q-9-7-4, 2, ♣ A-Q-9-4 and he bid one heart, and heard his partner respond two diamonds, which they played as forcing to game. Can you comment on the merits of a two heart, two no-trump or three club rebid?

Second Chance, Sioux Falls, S.D.

There is a huge disagreement on what should be a simple question. For me, three clubs suggests real extra shape or high cards, two no-trump suggests but does not absolutely guarantee a stopper in the unbid suits, while a two heart rebid suggests six or a decent five-card suit. All three calls are reasonable here, but I’d lean to the two heart call since it is the most economical. Give me the king-jack of clubs instead of the queen, and I might bid three clubs.

The rumors from chess suggest that electronic devices and computers are being used illegally in that sport. Are players currently permitted to bring cell-phones and other devices into bridge events?

Luddite, Bellevue, Wash.

The ACBL recently experimented with a ban on cellphones but relented and now allows you to bring them in if you do not have them turned on. I might ban cell-phones altogether if I had my way, but I am not yet master of the universe.

One of my opponents recently dropped a card out of their hand onto the table and the Tournament Director explained that this was only a minor penalty card not a major penalty card. They were simultaneously playing two cards from the same suit, if that is of any help in explaining the ruling.

Muddle in the Middle, Eau Claire, Wis.

A minor penalty card is that one arises when two cards in the same suit are played simultaneously, and the exposed card is a small one. This basically gives rise to no penalty either for the player or his partner, but the offender must play the exposed card before any other small card in that suit. If the offending card is the spade nine, you can therefore discard or play a spade honor before the nine, but not discard or play the spade two.


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, February 25th, 2017

Once lost, Jupiter himself cannot bring back opportunity.

Phaedrus


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

*Diamonds

**limit raise in spades with four

♠A

The following deal from the final of last year’s Gold Coast Pairs tournament produced both a good story and a missed chance.

Playing five diamonds, on the lead of ace and another spade, Liam Milne found the best way to put pressure on his opponents. Having trumped the second spade he crossed to dummy with a diamond and led a club towards his hand.

At his table East split his club honors. So Milne won and drew a second trump, then led a second club towards his hand. At the table East went up with his remaining honor and when his partner’s jack fell, declarer had the discard he needed. Incidentally, had West discarded the heart jack on the second trump, East might have worked out to duck the second club.

Against the same contract Barbara Travis (who had shown 5-5 in the majors) led the spade ace and shifted to the club jack, giving South the chance to be a hero.

The winning line is to take the club ace, lead a trump to dummy to ruff a spade, then repeat the process. Having stripped the spades you take the heart ace and king,

Now you lead a club from dummy, and when East wins the trick he is endplayed. If he plays a spade, declarer ruffs in one hand and pitches the losing heart from the other hand. If he leads a club whether it is a high or low one, declarer can set up a club winner and cross to hand with a trump to take the rest.


You have far too good a hand to pass. While repeating diamonds is possible, it feels better to ask partner to describe his hand by cuebidding three spades. You would plan to raise a call in either minor or to pass a bid of three no-trump.

BID WITH THE ACES

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