Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Practice and thought might gradually forge many an art.

Virgil


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

*minors **majors

5

Experts often play the hands better with the sight of only 26 cards than the commentators, who can study all 52 cards. At the World Championships in Paris in 2001, in the match between USA1 and Italy, the Italians bid unopposed to four hearts, and escaped for minus 100. In the other room Norberto Bocchi reached five diamonds as South, and Eric Rodwell found the killing heart lead.

But of course a ‘killing’ lead is in the eye of the beholder. Bocchi had heard East overcall to show the majors, so when Jeff Meckstroth shifted to a spade at trick two, Bocchi took what looks like a practice finesse of the queen. When it held, he cashed the spade ace and ruffed a spade, then took the diamond ace and used the top clubs as entries to eliminate the hearts. In the four-card ending he could exit to East with the second diamond.

At this point three tricks had been played in each major and two in each minor, and East had only major-suit cards to lead. Declarer could pitch his club loser from hand and ruff in dummy, to take 11 tricks and gain 7 IMPs. Beautifully played – and note that if Bocchi does not take the spade finesse at trick two, he runs out of trumps and entries to make the winning play.

This line was duplicated by Sabine Auken in the Women’s series in five diamonds – she also had the same information that East had a good hand with both majors, but it was still a very fine play.


Normally you bid with good hands and pass with bad ones. But here, although you have a 15-count, you have no guarantee of a real fit, and too much of your hand is in spades to take an aggressive position. You might balance with a double, but why shouldn’t partner have a flat Yarborough here?

BID WITH THE ACES

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

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony. I do not crave security. I wish to hazard my soul to opportunity.

Peter O’Toole


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

Q

The German ladies won the women’s world championship in 2001 after a stunning come-from-behind victory against France. But this deal was from their quarter-final victory over USA.

In one room Jill Meyers declared three no-trump and Sabine Auken led a top diamond. Meyers ducked this, won the next diamond, and played the heart king out of her hand, hoping East had one of the top heart honors. A good try, but declarer still had to go down one.

Meanwhile in the other room Andrea Rauscheid declared four hearts. She won the diamond lead and played to ruff a diamond in dummy, then finessed the heart jack.

Irina Levitina won the queen and shifted to spades. Declarer won in hand and exited with a low heart, letting Levitina hop up with her ace, to play a second spade. Rauscheid took this and cut loose with a third spade. What was the defense to do? If East, Lynn Baker, won the trick, a ruff and discard would let Rauscheid pitch a club from hand, while a club lead would obviously be fatal.

So Levitina correctly ruffed her partner’s spade winner. But now, since a diamond would concede a ruff and discard, the best she could do was to lead a low club. Accurately defended, but Rauscheid had been given a minute extra chance in clubs, and she took it, by putting in the eight. That extra chance turned out to be relevant today, since Baker had to play the queen, and the club jack was declarer’s 10th trick.


Your partner’s four club bid should not be a cuebid but instead in a competitive auction it should show the black suits. That gives you an easy four spade call, since all your values are in the right place. Despite your heart length you do not have a defensive trick in that suit. If necessary, you might even contemplate bidding on to five spades.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 9 3
 10 6 4 2
 7 5
♣ K J 8 6
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♠ Pass
2 ♠ 3 4 ♣ 4
?      

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, October 17th, 2017

Thinking to me is the greatest fatigue in the world.

Sir John Vanbrugh


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

♣3

When Norway took on Indonesia in the quarterfinals of the Bermuda Bowl in 2001, the Indonesians tended to go for the more direct route, while the Norwegians followed a more cerebral approach. But that was not always the case.

On this deal, the Indonesians had discovered their four-four heart fit, and played game there, a contract that went two down on the diamond ruff. By contrast, Erik Saelensminde located the heart suit opposite, but then deliberately eschewed the 4-4 heart fit.

Given that his partner’s ruffing value in spades could not be exploited at no-trump South certainly emerged smelling of roses. To be fair, it is hard to see how to offer a choice of hearts or no-trump sensibly on this deal; still, I think declarer is due a lot of credit here.

Of course it is one thing to bid the game, another to make it. Three no-trump, on a club lead to the 10 and queen, was by no means cold. Saelensminde won in hand and knocked out the heart ace; now West shifted to a diamond.

That let East win and lead a spade through, but Saelensminde put up the ace and cashed all his club and heart winners, ending in dummy, then exited with the fourth club to force West to lead spades into the tenace. Nicely done!

On a club continuation at trick three, there would also have been a lot of play left in the board. But if declarer plays for diamonds 4-1 and ducks a diamond early, he can always succeed.


It feels wrong to rebid one no-trump with a side suit singleton. You can bid two clubs, expecting to find a fit or that partner will act again with extras. Since there do not appear to be too many spades in the deck, you would not be surprised to hear your partner rebid spades to show a really good hand. If he does, you will rebid two no-trump.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ 9
 K 9 6 4
 7 5 4 2
♣ K 8 6 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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, October 16th, 2017

Truth can never be told so as to be understood, and not be believed.

William Blake


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

K

Zia Mahmood has the reputation of a player always looking for the spectacular coup, but he is also a fine technical player, who works hard to extract every possible piece of information before committing himself.

He found a very thoughtful play on this deal, from the Summer Nationals in Washington 15 years ago. It came up in the early stages of the Spingold Trophy, the primary knockout event of the championships.

He reached five clubs here in the face of strong competition in hearts, and West slipped fractionally by leading the heart king and ace (a play for which one can hardly blame him, though a club shift beats the game, and a spade might well do so). Zia ruffed, and instead of simply relying on the double finesse in spades, he decided to strip out the diamond suit just in case something happened. Did it ever!

On the second diamond West produced the queen, then Zia ruffed the third diamond high as West discarded. East was now virtually marked with a 2-4-6-1 shape, and Zia decided that East’s preempt, coupled with West’s decision not to double the final contract, meant that East was likely to have the club ace. So he worked out that that the right play was to lead to the spade queen, cash the spade ace and exit with a club. It worked: East had the doubleton spade jack together with a singleton club, and when he won his bare club ace, he was endplayed to concede the ruff and discard.


Your partner appears to have a three-suiter but not enough to double two spades for take-out. The question is whether to go active with a club lead or passive with a heart lead. Since you have natural trump tricks, the cards appear to be lying badly for the opponents; so I would go with a low heart (NOT the eight or three).

LEAD WITH THE ACES

♠ Q 10 4 2
 8 3 2
 A 6
♣ K J 3 2
South West North East
    Pass 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, October 15th, 2017

In first or second seat with 12 points, how much account should you take of unprotected honors when deciding whether to open? Would it be reasonable to pass, holding ♠ J-4-3-2,  K-Q-4,  K, ♣ K-10-6-3-2? If you would always open, would there be any variation on this hand where you might pass?

Mellow Yellow, Vancouver, British Columbia

I would only pass a 12-count with a five-card suit in it if there was both an awkward rebid and a series of unguarded honors. Here I can open one club and rebid one spade easily enough, but switch the spades and diamonds and you might sell me on an initial pass.

I find opening leads the most difficult part of the game – especially against slams. Can you give me some advice as to when to lead aces and when to lead trumps against slams?

Panacea, Tucson, Ariz.

When looking for a passive lead, a trump can sometimes be the most effective – especially from weak length or after a keycard auction where you know the opponents have the trump queen. Against a small slam it pays to be active unless your own hand suggests you have two possible tricks, or you know suits aren’t breaking. The more long suits the opponents have shown, the more attractive an ace lead becomes.

I recently held ♠ K-Q-J-8-6-3-2,  A-5-3, span class=”red”>♦ 10, ♣ J-2 and at unfavorable vulnerability bid only three spades over my RHO’s three diamond preempt. Would you do that or bid four spades? Regardless, LHO jumped to six diamonds, and everybody passed. What would you lead?

Hot Spot, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Yes three spades is enough, and as to my opening lead, you could sell me on the heart ace or a low heart (the latter if I want to get my name in the paper, or in the obituaries should it fail). A top spade will surely accomplish nothing.

When you pick up this hand: ♠ A-Q-J-9,  7-2,  Q-4, ♣ K-10-9-7-2, and hear your RHO open one heart, can you comment on the range of sensible options available to you? Would vulnerability or the question of whether partner was a passed hand matter?

Coming Through the Rye, Lynchburg, Va.

The best moment to act is now, before the opponents have described or limited their hands. Double is awkward because a two diamond response leaves you so awkwardly placed. Maybe overcalling one spade is wiser than bidding two clubs with such a poor suit.

Could you comment on your approach with a strong three-suited hand in the range 19-24 with a singleton ace or king? Does it matter if the singleton is in a major as opposed to a minor?

Tightrope Walker, Twin Falls, Idaho

With hands in the range 21-22 I might open two no-trump with a singleton high honor. I admit, though, that the advantage of bidding a minor and hearing a response is that the discussion starts two rounds lower. You will be surprised how often you get to slams you would have missed after a two no-trump opener. With a small singleton I might open a minor instead, I suppose.


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, October 14th, 2017

Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.

Horace Mann


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

*two keycards and the trump

K

In today’s auction North produced a splinter raise to show the values for game with short diamonds, but not necessarily promising slam interest. When South cooperated with a four heart cuebid (perhaps an overbid if the call promised extras) North now felt he had enough to use Keycard Blackwood and drive to slam.

The final contract was far from hopeless after the lead of the diamond king; West followed up with a trump shift. Declarer won in hand with the spade 10, and might simply have settled on the heart finesse. However, following the general and sound principle that if the heart finesse was working at the start of the hand, it would probably be working at the end, South delayed the heart play as long as he could. He ruffed a diamond high, led a spade to the ace, and ruffed a second diamond high.

Next came a club to the king, and the spade queen. When West followed three times, declarer played the club ace and ruffed a club, taking his additional chance that the queen-jack might fall in three rounds.

This did not happen, but by now 11 of West’s cards were known. The best remaining chance was that West had begun with only three clubs, so that East now had sole guard of the suit. Accordingly, South played off the last trump, discarding the heart eight from dummy and squeezed East in the process.

This was an easy position to read: if the club 10 was not high, declarer would play the heart king and ace and the heart six would win trick 13.


The three club call is forcing for one round but may be based on interest in game or slam. You don’t have to make the decision for partner as to which he has, but you can show a splinter in diamonds by jumping to four diamonds now. Your failure to bid more than two hearts at your second turn has already limited your high cards.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K J 6 3
 K J 8 5
 3
♣ A 10 7 2
South West North East
1 ♣ Pass 1 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: Friday, October 13th, 2017

Government and co-operation are in all things the laws of life; anarchy and competition the laws of death.

John Ruskin


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

*three hearts

♠Q

The decision as to when to use Blackwood requires judgment, but the responses are relatively hard to mess up. By contrast, a cuebidding auction requires judgment from both sides of the table, so both players need to be in harmony.

Today’s deal shows cuebidding resulting in an almost hopeless contract. When South showed slam interest and short spades, North cooperated by showing his club control. Now South drove to slam, hoping that he would buy a subsidiary diamond honor in dummy.

Can you see what meager chance South was able to exploit to bring home his slam? Declarer won the spade queen with dummy’s ace and ruffed a spade, then crossed to the club king and ruffed another spade, bringing down the king. Now he cashed his clubs to discard dummy’s spade loser, and played the heart ace, collecting West’s nine.

Had trumps turned out to be 2-2, declarer might next have played ace and another diamond, trying to endplay West. But the fall of the heart nine allowed declarer to cross to the heart eight and then to reconstruct West’s hand. Since that player had turned up with one trump, he was far more likely to have three diamonds than two, because he had not made a Michaels cuebid. So South led a low diamond from dummy, covering East’s card. That forced West to win one of his honors, after which he was endplayed to return a diamond round to South’s jack, or concede a ruff and discard for the 12th trick.


It would be simple to drive to four spades at once, but if partner has raised with three trumps, this might be premature. Your hand may be a little too good for a non-forcing call of two no-trump (though some play this as a forcing enquiry about shape and range — in which case it would be perfect). But to my mind your absence of intermediates makes the two no-trump call your most accurate way forward.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ A 7 3 2
 J 8 4
 A 9 7 4
♣ K 4
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♣ Pass
1 ♠ Pass 2 ♠ Pass
?      

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

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 12th, 2017

She learned romance as she grew older – the natural sequence of an unnatural beginning.

Jane Austen


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

*game-forcing heart raise

♠J

There are few things more aggravating at the bridge table than to be dealt a sequence on lead, and to find that leading from it is the only way to let through a contract. I don’t know about you, but when this happens to me it always feels as if The Great Shuffler is holding me up as an example to make fun of.

That was no doubt what West felt at the end of today’s deal. After South (playing four-card majors) had shown a minimum opener with no shortage, North drove to slam. West saw no reason to look beyond the spade jack for his opening lead. He must have felt more than a little uncomfortable when dummy went down, but when declarer won in dummy he breathed again, feeling relatively comfortable that his partner had the queen.

Declarer was able to turn the screws on him at once, though, by drawing trump ending in hand and leading a low spade, ducking West’s seven, and letting East win his now bare spade queen.

Had that player had a spade left to lead, the suit would have broken 3-3 and there would have been a home for South’s diamond loser. As it was, East had to play a minor suit, and his only chance was to lead a club, hoping that declarer had started with a doubleton. But declarer could win cheaply and discard dummy’s diamond loser on the club winner in due course.

If East unblocks his spade queen at trick one, declarer builds a discard from the spade eight for his contract.


Even if this might not be your style, can I suggest that the odds favor doubling here? Not because you will beat it on any lead – of course that isn’t necessarily so. But if you play (as do many) that this asks your partner to lead from his shortest major, then you have a decent shot to attract a heart lead – after which it would be disappointing for declarer to be able to make nine tricks – wouldn’t it?

BID WITH THE ACES

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

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

What a word is truth. Slippery, tricky, unreliable. I tried in these books to tell the truth.

Lilian Hellman


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

♣J

In today’s deal North tries for a grand slam but signs off in six hearts when South cannot bid more than six diamonds over the five no-trump enquiry. (South would have done more with the diamond queen instead of the jack).

When West leads the club jack, South wins the ace and takes one top diamond. If no large diamond appears on his right or left, declarer might well simply draw all the trumps and play a second diamond to the jack. This line would succeed unless East had begun with a singleton diamond.

However, when the diamond 10 appears from East, South decides to take it at face value. He draws two rounds of trump ending in dummy, cashes two spades to pitch his club loser, then leads a diamond toward his own hand, while leaving one trump outstanding.

If East discards on the second diamond, South will win with the king, and give up a diamond. This leaves him in position to ruff a fourth diamond with dummy’s high trump.

However, since nothing can be gained by discarding, East ruffs the second round of diamonds and plays back a spade. South trumps, and can cash the diamond king, then ruff a diamond for his contract.

As an aside, maybe West could persuade you to go wrong if he started life with Q-10-9-3 by dropping the 10 on the first round? You might then draw all the trump before playing a second diamond, and be left with two diamond losers.


You may be tempted to pass, and I might indeed break partnership discipline to do that if slightly weaker. However, this auction is technically forcing. On this sequence, it is modern practice to play the call of two spades as natural but not promising or denying extra values, forcing for one round. So your plan would be to bid two spades, and pass any non-forcing continuation partner produces.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q J 10 4 2
 8 7 4
 10
♣ K 8 6 5
South West North East
  Pass 1 Pass
1 ♠ Pass 2 Pass
?      

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

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

And speech impelled us To…urge the mind to aftersight and foresight.

T. S. Eliot


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

J

Today’s deal comes from Frank Stewart’s latest book, Keys to Winning Bridge. The proceeds of Frank’s book will be going towards local charities and I can wholeheartedly recommend it both for that reason, and also for its bridge content. Stewart’s deal features a relatively simple point of declarer play; see what you think. Against four hearts West leads the diamond jack. You might as well put up the queen – you never know. Plan the play when the queen is covered by the king.

The contract seems to be reasonably safe unless the spade ace is over the king. But if West has the spade ace (which he does), South needs to find West with the club king. If that should be the case, declarer can come to 10 tricks by way of four club tricks, five trumps and the diamond ace.

So far so good; however while the club finesse is necessary, you need to ensure that you cover all the bases. South may well need three entries to his hand for club finesses, hence he should not draw trump.

Best play is to lead a club to the 10 at trick two, and now you should take only the trump king and ace. Then, rather than draw the last trump, South repeats the finesse in clubs, comes back to the heart queen and takes a third finesse in clubs. He discards a spade loser on the master club, and will be able to play on spades for the overtrick.

Details of the book can be found at: https://www.baronbarclay.com/product/4075/intermediate


While I could imagine opening this hand with a preempt in third seat non-vulnerable, I would never act in first seat (and feel even more strongly about a second in hand preempt). The combination of a weak six-carder and a strong four-card major makes bidding an antipercentage action. Move the spade queen into the diamonds, and now you can discount the weak four-card major and act, if you want.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ Q J 9 7
 10
 K 9 8 5 3 2
♣ 4 2
South West North East
      ?
       

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.