Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 5, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: None

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


South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 3 NT All Pass

Opening Lead:5

“Remember that all tricks are either knavish or childish.”

— Samuel Johnson

The role of deception at the bridge table should not be underestimated. Deception does not mean misleading body language or demeanor. But you will frequently be able to mislead the opponents about your holding in a particular suit by sacrificing a potential trick.


South, in three no-trump, received a friendly club lead. He could see that if he allowed the lead to run around to his jack, then when a defender came on lead in diamonds, it would have been relatively clear that a rapid heart switch was required. How to persuade the defense otherwise? South won the opening lead with dummy’s ace and played a diamond to his nine and West’s jack.


Look at the position from West’s perspective. The play to trick one strongly suggested that East had to hold the club jack. So West returned the club two and was dismayed when South produced the jack. South continued with a diamond to the king and ace, and now it was East’s turn to be fooled.


By the club spots played, East knew that South held one further club. But declarer’s play of the club ace at trick one left East under the illusion that South was marked with an initial holding of Q-J-third, leaving his partner still in possession of the club king.


Whether East ought to have bought into the deception or not, the ploy worked, for a third club was led, and the contract rolled home.

ANSWER: Your opponent appears to have mistakenly wandered in where he does not belong. Do not let him get away unscathed! Redouble, to show a good hand, so that you can try to catch your opponents for a penalty. And be prepared to double your opponents wherever they settle.


South Holds:

K 10 7 4
7 4 3
K 10 8 5
A 3


South West North East
    1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Dbl.


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