Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 16, 2010

Dealer: West

Vul: None

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


South West North East
  1 1 Pass
3 NT All Pass    

Opening Lead: 7

“How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,

Your looped and windowed raggedness, defend you

From seasons such as these?”

— William Shakespeare

Today’s three-no-trump deal features nice defense by the Hackett twins of England, from the Forbo-Krommenie International Teams, held in Holland.


Jason Hackett led a low heart to Justin’s nine and declarer’s king. Declarer played a spade to dummy’s king, then a low club to her queen, which Jason ducked. A further spade forced Jason’s ace, and he now made the thoughtful return of the club 10, knowing the distribution of the suit from Justin’s initial count-signal.


On winning with dummy’s king, declarer cashed the spade queen and next, trying to keep all options open, ducked a diamond. Jason won, cashed the club ace, and with dummy now dead, exited with his last diamond. South could now only achieve eight tricks.


At the other table the first two tricks went the same way. However, after the spade king held, declarer returned to hand at trick three with the diamond ace to play another spade. West won, perforce, then returned the heart 10. (The diamond jack might have been a better play, but declarer can come home by ducking this and later finessing in diamonds against East.)


South won the second heart, played a club to the king, and cashed the spade queen. Then came a club to the queen. West had to duck to prevent declarer from scoring three club tricks, so declarer cashed his diamond king and exited with a club. Forced to win, West was endplayed and had to present declarer with his ninth trick in hearts.

ANSWER: After you have opened one no-trump, the simplest and most practical way to play your partner’s double of an overcall of two clubs is as Stayman. You can then retain transfers and all the other methods you play in an uncontested auction. Accordingly, bid two hearts now.


South Holds:

9 3
K Q J 6
A K 6 2
Q 7 6


South West North East
1 NT 2 Dbl. 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