Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: N/S


K Q 6

A K 6 2


K 7 6 5 2



J 10 9 7 5 4

K Q J 5 4



J 8 2

8 3

8 7 3

A Q 10 9 4


A 10 9 7 5 3


10 9 6 2

8 3


South West North East
Pass Pass 1 Pass
1 3 Dbl. All Pass

Opening Lead: K

“I don’t think we enjoy other people’s suffering, Hennessy. It isn’t actually enjoyment, but we feel better for it.”

— Finley Peter Dunne (Mr. Dooley)

On the following deal North-South were pleased with their penalty against West’s three hearts doubled — until they scored up. North kicked off with two rounds of spades. Declarer ruffed and played the diamond king to North’s ace, and North thoughtfully switched to a club. Declarer unwisely won dummy’s ace and played a heart. South won and played a second club, ruffed by declarer, who next played a high diamond. North ruffed, drew two rounds of trumps, and led the club king, forcing out declarer’s last trump. Declarer could cash one more diamond, but then had to concede the rest of the tricks to the defense for an 800 penalty.

However, in the other room South stretched to open a weak-two in spades and North bounced to six spades. West led from his diamond sequence rather than his singleton club. Declarer won dummy’s diamond ace, played a heart to his queen, and thoughtfully played the diamond 10, covered and ruffed. He cashed dummy’s top hearts, intending to discard both his clubs, but East ruffed in on the second, and declarer had to overruff. Then came the diamond nine, covered and ruffed, and the fall of the diamond eight meant that South’s six was good. Declarer cashed the spade king; then, to avoid a diamond ruff, he advanced the club king. Since East held the ace, there was nothing the defenders could do anymore. Note that if West could have won the first club, he would have been able to give his partner a diamond ruff.


South Holds:

K Q 6
A K 6 2
K 7 6 5 2


South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 2 Pass
ANSWER: A simple solution would be to bid four spades, but you are just a little too good for that, particularly if two spades is forcing for one round. Best is to jump to four diamonds, suggesting your precise hand-pattern, with a little extra in reserve, even given your reverse on the previous round.


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