Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, July 27, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W

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


South West North East
4 Pass 6 All Pass

Opening Lead:Q

“But it is pretty to see what money will do.”

— Samuel Pepys

The format of a typical U.S. Nationals is to hold a major event, typically one with a qualifying session one day and a finals the next, plus a series of minor pair events, each of which lasts one day, sometimes one session long, sometimes two.


Last year the field for a couple of the midweek two-session games included Warren Buffett, playing with multiple World Champion Sharon Osberg. Here is Sharon at work, not settling for a 95 percent board when 100 percent was available.


After his partner had opened four spades, Buffett sportingly raised to six spades, knowing Osberg had an eight-card suit or a side card and perhaps a two-suiter, considering his great trumps.


West obligingly led the club queen — and who could blame him? Osberg won in dummy, ruffed a low heart, then played a trump to dummy, and ruffed another heart. At this point she could cross to dummy to draw the last trump and cash the heart ace. When the king fell, 13 tricks were easy, but even if it had not fallen, she would have ruffed a heart, ruffed a club, then cashed the last two hearts to pitch her second diamond and fourth club. The 13th trick hardly mattered on the score sheet; simply bidding and making slam earned her a near top. And as usual in these positions, had she simply stayed in game and made all the tricks, that too would have been worth most of the matchpoints!

ANSWER: East appears to have the diamonds well under control. On that basis since both majors appear very unattractive I would guess to lead a club, hoping to find my partner with a top club. since anything could cost a trick you might as well lead the suit with the biggest reward if you are right.


South Holds:

Q 7 4 3
Q 9 7
J 4
K J 9 3


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