Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W

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


South West North East
2 Pass 3 Pass
3 Pass 3 NT Pass
4 Pass 5 Pass
6 All Pass    

Opening Lead:5

“I begin with the principle that all men are bores. Surely no one will prove himself so great a bore as to contradict me in this.”

— Soren Kierkegaard

Today’s deal has an Australian feel to it. Played by Tim Seres and reported by the late Dick Cummings, it comes from a rubber game at the Double Bay Club in Sydney and dates to a period when strong two-bids were in use.


West led a fourth-highest diamond against six hearts, and Seres was faced with a series of possibilities, none of which looked attractive. The simplest one might be to play to ruff a spade in dummy, and that was what Seres went for. But which diamond should he play to the first trick?


Seres made the critical play when he inserted dummy’s queen. Then he cashed the two top spades and led a third round, which West was compelled to ruff with the jack. To prevent declarer from ruffing a spade in dummy, West now had to play back a heart.


Seres won the 10 in dummy, then played the diamond ace (pitching a spade), ruffed a diamond, and ran all of his trumps. As the last trump was led out, Seres had a club and the spade 10 in hand, while dummy had the diamond jack and two clubs. To keep his master diamond, West had to reduce to just one club, so a diamond was pitched from dummy. Now East was squeezed between his spade queen and his clubs. When he discarded a club, Seres took the last two tricks with dummy’s ace and jack of clubs.

ANSWER: On some hands, you just have to give up and resist the urge to compete any further. The opponents are likely to hold the balance of high cards here, and your side has nothing special in the way of fit. To top it all, the opponents have the boss suit too. So why fight against the odds? Give up this time, and pass.


South Holds:

6 2
J 7 3
K 7 6 5 4
Q 7 6


South West North East
    1 Pass
1 1 Pass 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