Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dealer: North

Vul: None


8 7 3

A 9 8


A 10 7 6 5 4


A K Q J 9

5 4


K Q J 9 3


10 6 5 4 2

Q 7 2

J 9 6 3 2


K J 10 6 3

A K Q 8 7 5

8 2


South West North East
1 2 4 4
5 5 Pass Pass
6 Dbl. All Pass  

Opening Lead: K

“The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.”

— William Wordsworth

During the 2006 European Championships, Peter Schaltz of Denmark chalked up his 500th representative match for the Danish Open Team. He has a family tradition of bridge: both his parents were internationals, he first made the Danish team with his cousin, and his current partner is his wife, Dorthe. What is more, his son Martin already has gained a World Youth Teams Silver Medal.

This hand, from the 2001 European Championships, is Schaltz’s favorite. He ended in six hearts doubled after West had shown at least 5-5 in the black suits and East had supported spades. He was fortunate to receive a spade lead rather than a club — and yes, West might have worked out South had a spade void.

Schaltz ruffed and saw that if trumps broke 3-2, West would have a singleton diamond. He could not negotiate two diamond ruffs in dummy and also deal with trumps. But Schaltz saw one legitimate chance — that West’s singleton diamond was the nine. Then just one ruff would set up the suit.

A heart was played to the ace, then came the diamond 10. East instinctively played low, and so did Schaltz. When the 10 held, Schaltz finessed his heart 10, ruffed a diamond, and returned to hand via a spade ruff. He pulled the last trump, and cashed his winners for plus 1,210.

Remarkably, that was also the Danish score in the other room, where the contract was six spades doubled, steered home after the unfortunate lead of the club ace.


South Holds:

8 7 3
A 9 8
A 10 7 6 5 4


South West North East
  Pass Pass 1
ANSWER: Your hand is seriously unsuitable for a weak jump overcall. You have aces and defense, and you also have a trump suit where you might easily lose four tricks to a hostile distribution. Change your hand to nothing but six clubs to the K-Q, and at least you would have a reason to pre-empt. But this hand screams defense, not offense; even an overcall of two clubs would be inappropriate.


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