Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 7, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All


J 10 8 7 6

6 5 2


K 8 5



A J 8

10 7 5 2

Q J 10 6 3



Q 10 9 7

Q 8 4 3

A 7 4 2


A K Q 5 3 2

K 4 3

J 9 6



South West North East
1 Pass 3 Pass
4 All Pass    

Opening Lead: Q

“If you follow your star, you can not fail to reach a glorious haven.”

— Dante Alighieri

When the club queen was led against four spades, declarer ducked in dummy, happy to try to keep East off play. Although the only threat to the contract was the heart finesse being offside, South could also see additional endplay chances if East was kept off lead. East could not tell that he had to overtake with the club ace and shift to a heart — and you can hardly blame him for that.

The defenders continued with clubs at the second trick, and after covering the club jack with the king and ruffing the club ace away, declarer played a spade to the queen followed by the two top diamonds. Then he crossed to hand with a trump and ruffed his diamond loser in dummy. Before falling back on the heart finesse, declarer went for his last extra chance, namely that West had the club 10. He led the club eight, pitching a heart loser from hand hoping to endplay West on this trick.


South Holds:

J 10 8 7 6
6 5 2
K 8 5


South West North East
  1 Pass Pass
2 Pass 2 NT Pass
ANSWER: Your partner’s calls suggest about 13-14 points. (With 9-12 partner would have bid one no-trump; with less he would probably have passed one spade.) You are on the cusp, but your decent spade intermediates suggest you have just enough to try for the no-trump game.


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


Steven BloomAugust 21st, 2010 at 10:56 am

Throwing a club on the diamond queen wouldn’t help. That still leaves two heart losers. Declarer has to strip out the clubs and throw West in on the diamond queen, or strip out the diamonds and endplay West with the club ten. Unfortunately, South can’t try both, so must guess which card West holds.

Bobby WolffAugust 21st, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Hi Steven,

Once declarer eliminates diamonds (after the first two club plays) and, of course, extracts the two trumps from the enemy (1-1) then he can lead the eight of clubs from dummy and when he is lucky enough for West not East to hold the club 10, his task is done except for adding up the game contract bid and made score.

However, I am disappointed in the way this column was done by me because of several gaffes in the description, e.g declarer at trick 3 was already in hand so that he led the ace of spades instead of a spade from dummy and in the Bid With the Aces hand, East, instead of passing at his first turn, actually doubled 1 diamond and then after his partner had jumped to 2 spades showing 9-11 and at least 4 spades then should raise partner to game since he was on top of the range for his bid.

Apologies to our readers for those unnecessary confusions.

Steven, thanks for writing.

ToldoAugust 23rd, 2010 at 10:05 am


– “With 9-12 partner would have bid one no-trump” – maybe, but then director would have been called for insufficient call

Bobby WolffAugust 23rd, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Hi Toldo,

The Bid with the Aces had an earlier significant flaw. As I pointed out in a previous description right above your comment North had doubled 1 diamond, instead of passing, and South had responded 2 spades. Then after partner bid 2NT I suggested raising to 3.

Sorry for the confusion.