Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: N/S

A 2
J 10 8 7 6 3 2
9 7
9 3
West East
10 9 8 5 Q J 7 4 3
Q 9 5 4
Q 5 4 3 10 6
Q 8 7 6 4 J 5
K 6
A K J 8 2
A K 10 2


South West North East
2 Pass 2 Pass
3 NT Pass 4* Pass
4 Pass 5 Pass
6 All Pass    

Opening Lead:10

“But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

— Matthew 8:12

The regulars in the Dyspeptics Club are now mainly retired. South, however, still goes to work in the mornings. He is a dentist, though North has often suggested that he is better qualified to be a butcher.


Today’s deal was no exception. South soon found himself propelled to the giddy heights of six hearts after North took the accurate decision to move past game.


As dummy came down on the lead of the spade 10, South uttered those words that have chilled the heart of many a dummy: “Might have missed it, partner!” This normally suggests that declarer will be too concerned with the bidding to focus on the play, and so it proved. South won the spade in hand and cashed the two top trumps, not giving the 4-0 break its due attention. He then crossed to the spade ace and played the heart jack. East won, exited with a club, and sat back to watch how South would try to get to dummy to draw the last trump.


South did his best by ruffing a club, but East overruffed. It was down one, and North called his partner a disgrace to his profession. Can you see why?


The Dentist’s Coup would have brought home the slam. South plays off his top trumps, then cashes the minor-suit aces and kings before crossing to dummy in spades to lead the heart jack. East can win but must put dummy back on lead, so the contract is safe.

ANSWER: I am strongly opposed to the idea that in game-forcing auctions, jumps to game show minimums. I believe they should be picture bids, promising good trumps and few outside controls. This sequence is a little different, though. A raise to three hearts would be forcing and suggest slam interest, so jump to four hearts to end the auction.


South Holds:

Q J 7 4 3
Q 9 5 4
10 6
J 5


South West North East
    1 Pass

Pass 2 Pass


For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2009. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact