Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W

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


South West North East
1 Pass 3 Pass
4 All Pass    

Opening Lead:J

“Even God cannot change the past.”

— Agathon

No, the editor did not fall asleep. Today’s deal is apparently the same as yesterday’s, but there are some subtle changes to the East and West cards. Again, you have to play four hearts, but this time, after winning the diamond lead in hand, you take the two top trumps and discover that it is East, not West, who has the trump trick.


Whereas yesterday you were heavily favored to make your game, today you are a virtual lock to take 10 tricks, so long as you handle the play carefully.


Again, the natural instinct is to exit in trumps to force the opponents to play the black-suits for you, but, as in yesterday’s case, that would be a mistake.


This time, the right thing to do is to analyze which suit you want to force East to lead for you. Today’s answer is spades, whereas if West had the long hearts, the answer would be clubs. The winning line, after you take the opening diamond lead and draw two rounds of trump, is to strip off the diamonds and play king, ace and a third club, not caring who wins the queen. If it is East, he is immediately endplayed; if West, he will exit with a spade and dummy’s king will win the trick.


Only now do you play the third trump to East and wait for the forced spade-play back into your tenace or for a ruff-sluff. Either way you have 10 tricks.

ANSWER: Not all 12-counts belong in game facing an opening bid. With this hand, invite to game by bidding two no-trump. If partner passes, you may find yourself playing against the field, but you can be sure game your way will be no walk in the park. Focus on making the right bid, not following the sheep!


South Holds:

K Q 10
J 8 4 3
K 8 2
K 4 2


South West North East
    1 Pass
1 Pass 1 NT 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