Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dealer: West

Vul: All

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


South West North East
  1 Pass 1
4 4 5 5
6 Pass Pass 6
Pass Pass 7 Dbl.
All Pass      

Opening Lead: King

“They say everything in the world is good for something.”

— John Dryden

All the deals this week come from the Cavendish Pairs and Teams from 10 years ago to celebrate this year’s event currently taking place in Henderson, Nev.


The Cavendish Teams in Las Vegas is the precursor to the main event, the auction pairs. Ten years ago this was the deal from the final match that decided the eventual winner.


As you can see, six spades goes down when diamonds refuse to behave, but that was not obvious to anyone at the table. The auction generally began with South pre-empting in hearts and North bidding clubs to promise a heart fit and club values.


When the eventual winners of the event were doubled in six hearts with the East-West card, Zia Mahmood as West led a top diamond and shifted to a spade, letting South escape for minus 500. But in the other room the auction went as shown. For the winners, Lew Stansby led two top diamonds and Chip Martel threw a discouraging spade. Eventually Stansby worked out to play a third diamond, promoting the heart jack to a trick for down 1100 and a 12-IMP swing to the winners.


Was this the clearest way to get West to continue with a third diamond? Perhaps not, as demonstrated somewhat flamboyantly by Fred Gitelman, who was sitting East, partnering Brad Moss. They were defending six hearts doubled on an auction almost identical to the one shown, and when Moss cashed two rounds of diamonds, Gitelman discarded his spade ace! Now Moss knew what was necessary.

ANSWER: The simplistic answer is to double for takeout, showing four spades. But that would ignore the main feature of your hand, the diamond suit. There will be plenty of time to bid spades later, but for the time being bid two diamonds, which is natural and forcing.


South Holds:

K Q 9 5
A K 10 9 7 2
10 9


South West North East
    1 1


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 2010. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact