Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dealer: West

Vul: None

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


South West North East
  2 Pass 3
3 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening Lead:K

“The deed is everything, the glory nothing.”

— Johann von Goethe

In today’s deal, from the last round of the 2008 Swiss Teams in the Summer Nationals, two opposing pairs each helped to generate a game swing for their side. In one room West aggressively opened with a weak two-bid, but his opponents had no trouble reaching four spades. The heart king held the first trick and the heart 10 was ruffed by declarer, who took a spade finesse, losing to the king for a spade return. Declarer now followed the simple line of eliminating hearts, ruffing both the third and fourth round, then throwing East in with a club. In the three-card ending, declarer would have survived if the diamond finesse was right or if East had both the 10 and nine of diamonds, but not today.


In the other room Han Peters as South also reached four spades after a two-heart bid, but that call had shown hearts and a minor. He took a different approach. After finessing in trumps at trick three and receiving a trump return, he took a winning club finesse. Then he drew the last trump by crossing to the ace, ruffed a heart, and threw East in with the club king. Declarer could win the diamond return in hand and run the trumps now.


In the three-card ending, declarer had his three diamonds in hand, and dummy had two diamonds and the heart jack. As he led out his last trump, it squeezed West, who could not keep the diamond queen guarded and hold onto the long heart.

ANSWER: You should not simply raise to four spades. Your hand is an absolute maximum for a passed hand, so cue-bid four diamonds to let partner know, in case he has slam interest. Although it is unlikely your side can make a slam, your partner can still have a really good hand and not be able to bid more than three spades at his first turn.


South Holds:

A 10 3
J 8 6 5
A 8 7
Q 9 4


South West North East
Pass 3 3 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