Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All

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


South West North East
1 Pass 3* Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
6 All Pass    
*Limit raise

Opening Lead: Jack

“Fate, Time, Occasion, Chance and Change? To these

All things are subject but eternal Love.”

— Percy Shelley

At the Dyspeptics Club, South has admitted, under duress, that he carries a rabbit’s foot for luck. He says that this has no influence on what cards he holds; it is just that he gets more out of them. When confronted with this theory North snorted loudly and commented that South’s ability to throw tricks away almost rivaled his ability to be dealt more high cards than he deserved. Today’s deal is an example.


In six diamonds South won the opening heart lead, drew trumps, and stalled around for a while before taking the club finesse, unsuccessfully.


Because South was trying to use this deal to demonstrate that he was actually an unlucky player, North stopped him.


“If you had bothered to take advantage of all your chances, you would have made the slam instead of going down,” he said. Do you see why?


After the heart lead, declarer takes his other top heart to pitch a spade from dummy, ruffs a heart, cashes the two top spades, and leads a diamond to the king. East can win his singleton ace but must then give declarer a ruff-sluff or play a club back into the tenace.


Even if it is West who has the singleton diamond ace, he will be forced to lead a club, and thus increase declarer’s chances of playing the club suit for no loser.


And if a defender does have ace-doubleton of diamonds, declarer can fall back on the club finesse as a last resort.

ANSWER: In this position a double from you would be card-showing, not penalties, because it is made under the trump suit. So there is no real likelihood of your partner passing for penalties. That being so, settle for simplicity and bid one no-trump, which rates to be the best part-score for your side.


South Holds:

Q 10 9 3
Q 8 5 3
Q 10 5 2


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