Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W

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


South West North East
1 1 NT Pass Pass
2 Pass 4 All Pass

Opening Lead:7

“Lord, … I’m hopeful thou’lt recover once my dust,

And confident thou’lt raise me with the just.”

— Marquis of Montrose

This week’s deals are all from recent world championships, marking the Bermuda Bowl now taking place in Sao Paulo.


Russ Ekeblad’s U.S. squad were 36 IMPs down to Kiran Nadar’s Indian team in the 2006 Rosenblum knockouts, but their rally began with this board.


Against four hearts, the best lead of a trump was found at both tables. When South next led spades, both Wests won and played ace and another heart, the Easts throwing a club and a diamond.


Declarer for India continued with the diamond queen to the king and ace, returned to the diamond 10, ruffed a spade with dummy’s last trump, then discarded a spade on the diamond jack. But he still had two spade losers, so ended one light.


At the second table, play followed the same route for the first four tricks. However, Eric Greco found an extra chance, which was to prove crucial. At trick five he cashed the club ace. Only then did he lead the diamond queen, covered and won. Then he ruffed a club, and when the second club honor dropped from West, this, coupled with East’s early club discard, convinced Greco that clubs were originally 5-2.


A spade ruff was followed by the club 10, on which Greco discarded a spade. Another club was covered and ruffed, setting up dummy’s eight, and dummy was accessed by overtaking the diamond 10 with the jack. That gave him 10 tricks, Greco’s only other loser being a diamond.

ANSWER: Your delayed sequence to one no-trump showed 18-20 points. (With 15-17, you would have made a one-no-trump overcall, while with less, you would have passed one spade.) So you have shown your range, and your partner has asked you to pick a major. You have no reason not to go back to two spades but, equally, no reason to do any more bidding. You have shown what you have. Let partner decide which level to play at.


South Holds:

A K 2
A 10 7
K 9 7 4 2


South West North East
Dbl. Pass 1 Pass
1 NT 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

1 Comment

David WarheitOctober 1st, 2009 at 10:36 am

It’s difficult, but if W ducks the diamond queen, the contract cannot be made. South should lead the diamond ten, intending to play the jack from dummy. West can still defeat the contract by covering the ten with the king, but such a play would probably win the brilliancy prize at any tournament.