Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Think what our Nation stands for,
Books from Boots’ and country lanes,
Free speech, free passes, class distinction,
Democracy and proper drains.

John Betjeman


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

♣Q

The South hand has enough slam potential for it to be right to open two clubs, and after the temporizing response of two diamonds, North can bid two no-trumps to show scattered values, (using three clubs as a second negative) then raise three spades to four. He might consider cuebidding four clubs with the ace instead of the king, or better trumps.

After the club queen is led to the ace, declarer cashes the spade ace to find the bad news. Next he plays a low spade from hand. East takes the spade jack with his queen and tempts declarer by shifting to the heart two. If declarer finesses, a heart return will sink him, leaving him with two diamond losers at the end. But South has a sure trick play if he is careful. He rises with the heart ace, rather than finessing, then draws trump (throwing clubs from the table) and exits with the heart jack.

If this holds, he has 10 tricks. If it loses, the defenders must give him a 10th trick one way or another. A heart or club is clearly fatal, and leads to his making an overtrick. Equally, though, if they touch diamonds, declarer makes his 10th in that suit, since he can hold his losers to just one trick there.

This play would almost certainly be right even if South did not have the heart jack – East would have exited with a trump rather than lead away from the heart king, would he not?


In third seat I can see the logic of opening one heart, or even preempting to two hearts. It does feel right to bid though. Yes, you have only a nine-count but quite a lot of offense, and no reason to assume your side cannot get into the auction and make your opponents' life more difficult.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ —
 K 9 7 4 3
 K 9 3
♣ Q J 10 7 6
South West North East
Pass 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: Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

It is necessary to relax your muscles when you can. Relaxing your brain is fatal.

Stirling Moss


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

6

In today's deal West led the heart six against three no-trump. After winning with the king, East returned the jack, and declarer worked out that if the lead was a genuine fourth highest, there was no prospect of blocking the suit. So he did well to let the jack win, and was delighted when East switched to a spade. But South was so pleased at having guessed right that he took his eye off the ball, in what appeared to have become an easy contact. He tried the minor suits in succession by cashing them out from the top, and, ended with only eight tricks when both suits refused to behave.

How should South have continued after winning the switch at trick three with a top spade? He should start by cashing the club ace and queen (the suit in which he has no flexibility) making sure to leave himself an entry to dummy, and discovering the bad break. The critical play comes next, which is to cash the second top spade before trying the diamonds. By so doing, he will find out that West had started with six hearts, four clubs and at least two spades, and therefore, at most, one diamond.

Now, after crossing to the diamond king, he leads the diamond 10, with the intention of running it if it is not covered. If East does cover, South has retained the club king in dummy as an entry to repeat the finesse against the diamond nine.


The hand is absolutely maximum for a jump to two no-trumps here, which is not unusual but shows a balanced 19-21 in protective seat. With only a doubleton spade, it feels right to make this call rather than double, since spades are not really on the agenda from your perspective.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A K
 Q 7 4
 A Q 8 3
♣ A Q 5 2
South West North East
1 Pass Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Nothing can stop you moving forward, unless you yourself surrender under pressure.

Anil Sinha


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

♠4

The North hand provides a problem over a one club opening bid. If you play inverted minor raises, then the hand is far too strong for a three-club bid, and a one no-trump call seems misdirected and an underbid. So maybe it is best simply to raise to two clubs, pretending you have a limit raise. South can jump to three no-trumps, to end the auction.

West will lead the spade four against three no-trump and now the spotlight switches to East. If East plays the ace followed by the queen, declarer will hold up the spade king until the third round of the suit. Then, after taking the losing club finesse, he can make 10 tricks painlessly.

Instead, East must play the spade queen smoothly at trick one. Declarer is really forced to take this with the king, since otherwise he runs the risk that West holds five spades to the ace-jack and the club finesse is working, or that spades are 4-4 with the club finesse losing. In either scenario, ducking the spade queen would look incredibly foolish. In practice, though, when the club finesse fails the defenders can run their four spade tricks today.

Note: the key to this play is that East can see that he has the critical entry in clubs, and that his partner will not be confused by the play to the first trick. If East were looking at a weaker hand without a side entry, he should win the spade ace and return the queen.


Your approach might vary depending on whether you are playing pairs or teams. At pairs you might go for the most passive option, the top of your doubleton heart. At teams I'd guess a spade lead might be the lead most likely to set the game. Of course leading from either four-card suit might work, but neither suit is attractive on this auction.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

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

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Holding: ♠ 7-6-2,  A-6,  A-9-8-5-4-2, ♣ K-9, what is your response after partner, dealer, opens one spade, and your RHO doubles? Do you raise partner, bid your suit, or redouble to show strength — or does the redouble show tolerance for spades? Also, what bid would you recommend without the intervening takeout double?

Double Trouble, Charlottesville, Va.

Without a double the least lie here would be to bid two diamonds — even if you play it as forcing to game. All those aces and kings look like an opening bid, don't they? Over a double, redouble shows 10+ and tends to be made on hands without spade support. Two diamonds should be played as natural and non-forcing, unlike a one-level response after a double, which should be a one-round force by an unpassed hand. Since a spade raise would be a distortion, the redouble wins hands down, to be followed by a spade raise.

Is partner obliged to accept a Jacoby Transfer or can he bid something else and if so must this be alerted?

Quatre Saisons, Montreal

Having methods where some other call than completing the transfer is allowed is a good idea. Any transfer-break must be alerted if it has an agreed meaning. Simplest is to break to three of your major with four trumps and a non-minimum. Bidding a new suit will happen very rarely; but simplest is to play such bids as a doubleton ace or king with a big fit. A more complex answer is to add a break to two no-trumps as three good trumps and a maximum.

Is it ever acceptable to overcall into a four-card suit? Would you pass, overcall, or double, when your RHO opens one diamond and you have: ♠ K-Q-10-7,  K,  A-J-5, ♣ K-10-7-5-3?

Logophile, Janesville, Wis.

Double looks wrong with a singleton major and these values, while passing feels cowardly. That leaves an overcall of one no-trump, two clubs or one spade. I marginally prefer bidding the good four-card major to introducing a weak club suit, although I could live with either action. One no-trump with a bare ace, rather than the king might be possible?

In fourth seat you hold: ♠ A-K-Q-3,  10,  A, ♣ A-K-Q-J-7-3-2. Peacefully minding your own business, you hear a weak two diamonds to your left and a theoretically forcing response of two hearts to your right. I just blasted into six clubs, but alas, our opponents took the save in six hearts, for just 300. At the other table our teammates took the save in seven hearts over the making six spades for -500. How would you bid this hand?

Monster Mash, Houston, Texas

A double of two hearts is one of those areas even well-established partnerships don't agree on, so three diamonds may be a safer cuebid, planning to bid six clubs next, then maybe six spades over six hearts next time. This is a gamble, I admit, but not an unreasonable one. I hate to defend lower than seven hearts with this hand.

Playing strong twos, our general agreement is that we open two clubs with four or fewer losers. But we have had strong disagreement as to whether or not that should be a one-suiter, since my partner insists on doing it with a two-suiter, even if her best suit is my artificial diamond response. Is there a best theoretical approach?

Powerhouse Pat, Grand Forks, N.D.

The problem with opening two clubs when you hold long diamonds is that the action gets too high too fast. I say open one diamond with marginal hands, but another possible fix after the two-club opener is as follows. Use a jump to three of a major over the two diamond negative as four in that major and five or more diamonds, unbalanced. Thus a rebid of three diamonds is one-suited in principle.


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, January 31st, 2015

Woman begins by resisting a man's advances and ends by blocking his retreat.

Oscar Wilde


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

4

In today's deal South played in three no-trump on a low heart lead. Declarer won cheaply and was about to try to run the club suit when he noticed an inconvenient fact about his high spots in hand.

Because of his nine and 10, the suit appeared to be irretrievably blocked even if the suit was about to divide 2-1.

One possibility was to try to lose a club to West, (which he might be able to do if West had any doubleton, or if he had the bare queen). But if South lost the club to East, a second heart would come through him and that would be curtains for the contract.

South found an alternative solution when he exited immediately with the heart king, knowing from the spot card led, the four, that West could not hold more than five hearts.

At the table West somewhat naively ran his hearts, which allowed declarer to shed one of his clubs and unblock the suit. Effectively, declarer emerged with seven clubs, a heart and one of the pointed aces.

However, despite declarer’s ingenious maneuver, the defense had a riposte available. Imagine that West shifts to a spade – let us say the king, for the sake of argument. Declarer can win and play back a third heart (if he gives up a club, East still has a heart left). But West wins the third heart and plays a second spade, setting up two winners for East if a club is ducked to him.


No matter how you cut it, your hand is only a 13-count, and you need more excuse than some nice shape to find another call when partner has shown 7-10 HCP. Just to put it on record: I would probably bid on with 5-5 pattern, or you could tempt me to a try for game of two spades, if I held A-10-5 in that suit, for example.

BID WITH THE ACES

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

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, January 30th, 2015

My name is Sherlock Holmes. It is my business to know what other people don't know.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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

♠3

Today's theme is one that was first created by Terence Reese, in one of his outstanding collection of deals where he encourages you to play 'over his shoulder' and experience the problems in real time.

When West leads a low trump against four spades, your first thoughts should be to win in hand and continue drawing trumps. If they broke 3-2, you could knock out the diamond ace and end up taking 10 tricks by losing one diamond and two clubs. But you knew the hand couldn’t possibly be that simple; and it isn’t – the 4-1 trump break rears its head.

Now if you ruff a heart to dummy to draw the fourth trump you run yourself out of trumps and let the defenders cash hearts when in with the diamond ace.

You might consider drawing just three rounds of trumps, then playing on diamonds. Alas, that doesn’t work. West ducks the first diamond, wins the second and gives East a diamond ruff, which again results in four losers for your side.

The problem is: how to draw trumps and not end up losing too many hearts? The solution is to draw three rounds of trumps, then lead a low heart from hand. Either defender can win, and the best defense is another heart. Ruff that in dummy, draw the last trump, then play on diamonds. You have retained the heart ace, and the three losers are one heart, one diamond and one club. Your other club loser can be discarded on the heart ace.


This is one of the rare positions with 4-4 pattern where in responding to a double you should bid the higher suit first. By bidding spades then competing in hearts if necessary, you get both suits in efficiently and make sure you find the best fit possible in the major suits, and at an efficient level.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 10 6 4 2
 K 6 4 2
 6 5
♣ K 9 4
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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Alas, regardless of their doom
The little victims play!
No sense have they of ills to come
Nor care beyond today.

Thomas Gray


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

♠3

When this deal arose South's preempts, especially when non-vulnerable, were known to be frivolous. Hence he elected to open four diamonds, and was raised to game by North – not without some trepidation.

West hit on a spade lead, and East took his ace and returned a low spade. West won his king and attempted to cash a third spade.

Declarer ruffed in hand, and needed to establish a club winner on which to pitch his losing heart. The club finesse would have been a 50% chance, but declarer did better. He played to the club ace and ruffed a club high, then took a high diamond and went to the diamond king to ruff another club high and draw the last trump. Now a heart to dummy allowed a third club ruff, and the second high heart in dummy afforded the final entry to allow him to cash the club queen.

The key to the defense is for West to establish that the third spade is not standing up, and it is East’s responsibility at trick two to make that clear to him. With two cards left he plays the higher of his spot-cards, from three left he plays the lowest. From four, as here, he plays back the highest spot-card he can afford, the eight.

At that point West can infer the precise layout of the suit, given the auction and play thus far. West must therefore shift to a heart at trick three, thereby dislodging a critical entry from dummy prematurely.


Were it not for the overcall by East, you were planning to jump to two no-trumps, planning to show a balanced 18-19, upgrading your hand into that range. The overcall makes this very dangerous; but is it more desirable now to reverse into two hearts or rebid that feeble club suit? Nothing is attractive, but I¹ll lie with two hearts and hope to get to no-trump later.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ J 10 5
 A K 4
 K 7
♣ A Q 9 6 3
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Observe due measure, for right timing is in all things the most important factor.

Hesiod


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

*Transfer to spades

♣Q

Game on the North-South cards is a perfectly reasonable contract, though it is not mandatory for you as South to break the transfer here, despite your excellent trumps. There are plenty of weak hands with scattered values opposite where game will have no chance. Give yourself a small doubleton club and an extra heart and it would be a whole different story.

The lead of the club queen to trick one dramatically reduces your hopes of making game. You might as well cover, and East wins his ace to return a low club. When West shifts to a trump you must win the spade 10 in dummy. Next you must finesse in hearts rather than diamonds.

Now the spade ace, followed by the spade jack to the queen allows you to take another heart finesse. Then you cash the heart ace, ruff a club in dummy and now a diamond to the 10 endplays West for a diamond lead or a ruff and discard.

It may not be immediately obvious, but if you play it through you will see that should you take a diamond finesse at trick four, West will win and exit in trumps again, leaving you an entry short for all the finesses you need to take.

The key to the deal is that when you give up the lead, you must force the opponents to give you some help – and that means removing all their black-suit exit cards before allowing them to regain the lead.


You may not make three no-trump despite your club stopper. Partner rates to have a strong doubleton heart or a three-card heart fragment, angling for no-trump, but the eight-card diamond fit and singleton spade argue that a trump contract will play better. There are hands where four hearts might make, I suppose but this doesn't feel like one of them.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 3
 K 10 9 2
 Q 9 3 2
♣ A 7 4 3
South West North East
1♠ Pass
1 NT Pass 2 Pass
3 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: Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.

John Locke


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

♠K

Today's deal, from the semi-finals of the American trials 15 years ago featured a remarkable consistency amongst the four defenders sitting in the East seat. Put yourself in their position and see if you can do any better.

At all four tables South reached four hearts after West had opened the bidding. South won the top spade lead and played a diamond to the ace and a heart to the queen, then ducked a heart to East’s jack. Should you play a third round of spades, assisting in the elimination, or try a club?

Best is to play a club, trying to take partner off a later endplay, so long as his clubs are as good as K-J-7. If you exit passively with a spade, declarer ruffs and takes a losing diamond finesse, then ruffs the next spade and runs the club 10, covered by the jack and queen. Now he cashes the diamonds, forcing West to throw a spade, and finally a third heart endplays West to lead a club at trick 12. At one table East did find the club exit, but declarer put in the seven, and the game came home.

However, all four tables had already missed the critical play on the deal – which was to unblock the heart jack under the queen, a play that experience has shown me to be one of the hardest “routine” plays in Bridge. If you do unblock, it allows West to cash his second heart trick, and exit in spades. Now declarer must go down.


It feels right to raise to three diamonds, not so much because you expect a diamond game to be excellent but more because this is a courtesy raise. Your club holding argues that partner will be short there – and the possibility that four hearts may be a playable spot seems quite a reasonable one.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 4
 K 9 7 6 4
 A 7 3
♣ 10 9 7 5
South West North East
1 Pass
1 2♣ 2 Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, January 26th, 2015

I never resist temptation because I have found that things that are bad for me do not tempt me.

George Bernard Shaw


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

*0-1 controls

Q

When declarer is clearly short of entries either to his hand or the dummy, sacrificing a trick to avoid providing declarer with the communications he needs may be a good investment.

In today’s deal North had just enough to raise his partner’s non-forcing response to game, against which West led the heart queen.

Declarer needed to bring in the club suit to make his contract. All would be well if the club ace was doubleton. But what if one defender held the ace twice-guarded? Could he perhaps be persuaded to release his ace prematurely?

South ducked the heart lead, won the heart continuation, and at trick three led the club queen. West pounced with the ace and returned another heart. Declarer won and continued with a second club. West played his 10, and of course South allowed it to hold. West could cash his fourth heart, but that was the fourth and final trick for the defense.

West must resist the urge to capture the club queen, surrendering a trick in the interests of killing the clubs. East will signal his doubleton, and South will no doubt continue with a club, perhaps ducking West’s low card in dummy, in the hope that East had begun life with ace-doubleton in clubs. But even if South decides that West holds the club ace and rises with dummy’s king, declarer is likely to come to no more than eight tricks unless he can see through the backs of the cards.


The choice is between leading a top spade (less attractive than usual because it involves leading into a strong hand, and thus the risk of losing a trick is somewhat increased) or of going passive with a club lead. The fact that partner rates to have values and has passed out one diamond is a slight suggestion his values are in the minors, so I would lead a club.

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ K Q 6
 Q 7 3
 Q 7 5
♣ J 4 3 2
South West North East
Pass 1
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.