Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dealer: East

Vul: All

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


South West North East
3 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening Lead:K

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

— Hippocrates

Today’s heart game occurred during a recent Women’s Trials. In one room West started with a top diamond. Her partner (using count signals) played the seven and declarer the queen. Since declarer would have been perfectly capable of dropping the queen from Q-J-x, West still did not know what to do, so played a second diamond in the hope of giving her partner a ruff.


This gave declarer a chance to shine. After ruffing, she played the heart ace, a heart to the dummy, ruffed dummy’s last diamond, and played the club queen, covered by the king and ace. Now, knowing the complete distribution of both defenders’ hands, she led the club nine. East was forced to win the trick and broach spades, allowing declarer to make a trick with her jack. Even if West had been able to win, the best she could have done was to switch to a spade. Declarer would have ducked in dummy, and East would have been endplayed to give South a second spade trick.


In the other room West chose to lead her singleton spade at trick one. While this could easily have been wrong, she thought that the circumstances for giving her partner a diamond ruff were unlikely and that leaving her diamonds intact would give her more options later on. Declarer now would have needed to read the position very accurately to make her game, and did not do so.

ANSWER: Although you may be worried that you will find a dummy with only three-card support for your clubs, it looks right to bid three clubs now. You have a decent hand, a decent suit and no great defense to either diamonds or spades, so get into the auction while you can.


South Holds:

A 3 2
Q 8 2
10 5 2
A 9 8 4


South West North East
Pass 1 Dbl. 2


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