Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: All

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


South West North East
3 Pass 5 NT Pass
7 All Pass    

Opening Lead:Q

“In history an additional result is commonly produced by human actions beyond that which they aim at and obtain — that which they immediately recognize and desire.”

— G.W.F. Hegel

These days the grand slam force is rarely seen because the call of five no-trump is more often used to ask partner to pick a slam. But a jump facing an opening bid still retains its original meaning: bid the grand slam with two top honors.


How would you play today’s seven-spade contract on a heart lead? The lead is inconvenient in that it has taken out one of the late entries to dummy, and you will need to set up the clubs to make your contract.


A simple line would be to win and draw trumps, then play three rounds of clubs, ruffing the third. This line needs nothing but 3-2 clubs or a singleton club queen, but today you would be out of luck. An improvement to this line would be to draw just one round of trumps with the king before playing on clubs in case one hand had both black-suit singletons, but this would not help you today.


The winning line is to realize that you have the opportunity to use your discard on the top heart in dummy to greater effect. What you should do is cash the two top hearts and pitch a club from hand. Now you can take just one top club, ruff a club high, and draw two rounds of trumps ending in dummy. Then ruff another club high in hand, draw the outstanding trumps, and cross to the diamond ace to discard your diamonds on the clubs in dummy.

ANSWER: There is no need to panic just because partner has shown a good hand with long clubs and four diamonds. Do not pass in the middle of a forcing auction. Instead, repeat your hearts to show five, and let partner decide where he wants to go from here.


South Holds:

8 7 4 3
Q J 10 5 2
K 9 5


South West North East
    1 Pass
1 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