Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dealer: East

Vul: All



A J 8 5

A 8 6 3 2

Q 10 5


A 10 8


K Q 10 9 7

9 8 4 2


K J 6 3 2

9 7 4 3


7 6 3


9 7 5 4

K Q 10 2

J 4



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

Opening Lead: K

“Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.”

— Lord Macaulay

The overall standard in the Junior European Championships last summer was remarkably high. Consider this deal from the match between Italy and Sweden.

Both Souths were at the helm in the heart game. The Italian West led the diamond king. Cecilia Rimstedt won the ace and played the spade queen. East won the king and switched to a low heart. Rimstedt won the king, ruffed a spade, crossed to a club, ruffed a spade and crossed to another club to ruff the last spade. She had her contract now and emerged with an unlikely overtrick for plus 650.

Eric Arvidsson also led the diamond king, and the Italian declarer also won the ace. However, he now followed a different line by returning a diamond. East, Simon Bech, pitched a club and a second one as Arvidsson continued with the diamond 10 for declarer to ruff (fine defense). Declarer was in trouble now. He tried to cash the ace and king of clubs, but Bech ruffed and played the spade king, which Arvidsson overtook to give Bech a second club ruff, taking the contract down one for minus 100 and 13 IMPs to Sweden.

At double-dummy, the only winning line is to cash three rounds of clubs immediately, before East has a chance to pitch clubs on his partner’s winning diamonds. If you play either spades or diamonds at trick two, then, as the cards lie, East can pitch enough clubs to leave declarer no chance.


South Holds:

9 7 5 4
K Q 10 2
J 4


South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
ANSWER: There is no right answer to this question, since this is more about system than judgment. If you play as I do, that a one-diamond response either denies a four-card major, or shows at least invitational values, then you should respond one no-trump now. Either you do not have a fit in a major, or your partner will introduce his major at his next turn.


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