Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 9, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W

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


South West North East
1 Dbl. 1 NT 2
2 Pass 2 Pass
4 All Pass    

Opening Lead: King

“How slow

Behind the course of thought, even sick with speed,

Lags leaden-footed time!”

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

One of the most unfortunate things that occurred in the Venice Cup in Bermuda 10 years ago was that a Danish star, Charlotte Koch-Palmund, took ill and had to return home in midtournament. Her presence was sorely missed, although the Danes did go on to win the bronze medal.


When Denmark met France in the early stages of the Venice Cup, Charlotte had a chance to break one of the cardinal rules on defense — but it just happened to be the only way to set the hand! Put yourself in the West seat to see what I mean.


Charlotte (West) led out three rounds of clubs against four spades. When declarer ruffed and played a heart to dummy’s king to run the spade jack, Charlotte pitched a diamond. Now declarer correctly decided to repeat the spade finesse, and when East covered the spade seven with the eight, declarer won in hand and led a low diamond up.


Charlotte hopped up with the king and made the key defensive play when she broke all the rules by giving declarer a ruff and discard — a discard she did not need. The trump in dummy had to be preserved for the spade finesse, so declarer ruffed in hand, but that gave East the chance to discard her last diamond. Now when South tried to cross to dummy with a low diamond for the trump play, East ruffed in for one down.

ANSWER: You could simply jump to four spades now, but that would be highly premature. With your aces and your diamond fit, you might make seven diamonds if your partner had the spade king, the club ace and decent diamonds. Start the exploration by setting up a forcing auction: cue-bid two hearts, planning to support diamonds, and see what develops.


South Holds:

A Q 10 9 4 2
A 5
A 6 3
9 4


South West North East
    1 1
1 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 2010. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact