Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 2, 2010

Dealer: East

Vul: None

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


South West North East
1 3 Dbl. 4
4 NT* Pass 5 All Pass
*Takeout for the minors

Opening Lead: Jack

“An active, ardent mind;

A fancy pregnant with resource and scheme

To cheat the sadness of a rainy day.”

— William Wordsworth

When the defender under the main trump strength holds significant length, declarer can sometimes draw his trumps by leading plain cards from dummy. For example, what do you think of East’s chances on defense to five clubs today, given that his heart ace is going to stand up? Pretty fair, you might say, but he had not reckoned with a resourceful declarer.


West led a heart to East’s ace and back came a second heart in an attempt to remove dummy’s trumps and solidify the defenders’ second club winner. Declarer ruffed in dummy and played a club to hand, West showing out. Now another heart ruff and a second club to hand left declarer in good shape, despite East’s threatening trump holding.


Declarer knew that the spade finesse rated to work, but he did not need to take it. He played a spade to dummy’s ace and ruffed a spade, then led a diamond to the 10 and ruffed another spade, West’s king dropping. Now he crossed to dummy’s diamond queen, cashed the spade queen to pitch a diamond and, in the two-card ending with declarer needing one more trick, led the 13th spade from dummy. East had no answer. If he ruffed low, South would overruff; if he ruffed high, South would discard and make trick 13 with the club jack.


Declarer can score his last trump en passant on a very similar line, even when the spade king does not fall, with East having three small spades and three diamonds.

ANSWER: You should jump to two spades. As a passed hand you cannot just hold spades (or you either would have opened two spades or would not now be worth more than one spade). When a passed hand jumps in a new suit, it should promises values, decent fit for partner and at least a respectable five-card holding in the bid suit.


South Holds:

A Q 6 3 2
Q 10 5
8 7 6 3


South West North East
Pass 1 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