Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All

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


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

Opening Lead:6

“‘This job’s the best I’ve done.’ He bent his head

Over the golden vessel that he’d wrought.”

— Siegfried Sassoon

At the NEC Cup last year, where duplicated boards were in use, virtually every South reached three no-trump on today’s deal.


Typically, declarer failed after a diamond lead. For example, in the match between an Israeli and Japanese team, the Israeli declarer won the diamond lead in dummy and guessed to lead a heart to the ace and a heart back, covering West’s jack. That was a swift two down. In the other room, the Japanese declarer played the spade ace and a second spade, but could not succeed either. He eventually had to play West for the club queen, and when that finesse failed, he also went two down.


However, for the Chinese Open team, Liu Jing took a different approach. He won the lead of the diamond six with dummy’s queen and led a club to his nine. Now a low spade from his hand saw West win and exit with a spade.


Declarer’s next move was a low diamond from his hand to cut communications; West won and led the heart jack now. Liu won in hand, unblocked the club ace, crossed to the spade queen, and exited dummy with a low heart. East, now on lead with the heart king, could cash a spade, but then had to lead clubs into dummy’s tenace. Declarer took four clubs, one diamond, and two tricks in each major to make three no-trump. Not surprisingly, this deal was short-listed for the declarer play of the year.

ANSWER: Your partner’s cue-bid suggests both a good hand and short hearts. In context you have very little in hearts (which must be good for your side) and unbelievably good clubs, so jump to four clubs to emphasize your support and help your partner envision your suitability for higher things.


South Holds:

Q 6 2
Q 6 5 4
Q 8
K J 10 2


South West North East
    1 1
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