Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, November 6, 2009

Dealer: East

Vul: N/S

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


South West North East
Dbl. Pass 4 Pass
6 All Pass    

Opening Lead:2

“A true friend is one who overlooks your failures and tolerates your success.”

— Doug Larson

In today’s deal, after partner’s leap to four spades the least you could do was to bid six hearts. How do you plan to make 12 tricks after West leads the diamond two, an obvious singleton?


Your best chance is to hope that West holds the spade ace. After winning the diamond lead with the ace, you draw trumps, discarding diamonds from dummy. The only way to make 12 tricks is to utilize dummy’s spade suit, but there appears to be only one club entry to the dummy. One possibility is to seek a second club entry by leading the club two, intending to finesse dummy’s 10. This would rely on luck, since you would need West to hold the club jack. In any case, though, in this column an alert West would always spoil your plan by playing that card at his first opportunity!


In addition, the above plan would be disastrous on the actual lie of the cards, as East would win the club jack and cash a couple of diamonds. But there is no need to rely on such a dubious approach. You should lead the club queen and overtake it with dummy’s king. You then play the spade king, discarding a diamond.


West wins with the spade ace and has no good return. A spade will give the lead to dummy, allowing you to throw a diamond and a club. Similarly, a club exit will promote the 10-9 to an entry, no matter who holds the club jack.

ANSWER: When you bid only three spades over your partner’s double, you showed a poor hand. Now that your partner has cue-bid in support of spades and is looking for slam, he must have a very good hand indeed. In context therefore, you are well worth a cue-bid of four diamonds. If partner continues with four hearts, you may even be too good to sign off in four spades!


South Holds:

A 9 8 7 5
9 5 4
8 7 5 3


South West North East
Pass 3 Dbl. Pass
3 Pass 4 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