Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 16, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All

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


South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 NT Pass 6 All Pass

Opening Lead:Q

“I could have stemmed misfortune’s tide,

And borne the rich one’s sneer,–

Have braved the haughty glance of pride,

Nor shed a single tear.”

— Anna Peyre Dinnies

Declarer sees that six diamonds is cold if the trumps break 2-2 or 3-1. He should therefore plan to do what he can against a possible 4-0 split. The first move is to lay down the diamond king, as he can pick up four trumps if in West’s hand, but not if in East’s. Since the missing trumps include the jack and 10, declarer must lay down the honor in the hand with one high trump to be able finesse twice if necessary.


When the 4-0 split is revealed, the next move is for South to give up a heart, hoping to guess the suit if possible. The plan is to establish the North hand by ruffing two hearts and eventually discarding the other on South’s fourth spade. Entries must be manipulated so that trumps can be led twice through West, picking up his guarded jack, and South can be left with an eventual re-entry. South wins the club lead, cashes the diamond king, then leads a heart. East wins and returns a club, which South wins. South leads a trump to dummy and plays back a heart to ruff with the eight or nine.


South leads another trump and repeats the finesse. He exits dummy with another heart, ruffed with his last trump. A spade puts the lead back in dummy and a high spade is led. Declarer can claim the rest, pitching North’s heart loser on the good spade.

ANSWER: Although most experts play responsive doubles (meaning that a double of a bid-and-raised suit in response to their partner’s double is for takeout), this situation is not parallel. Spades have not been raised; hence, the double shows defense to spades, typically four cards or more in that suit. So pass and find out more about what is going on.


South Holds:

K Q 4
K J 8 3
A Q 7 5
9 8


South West North East
Dbl. 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