Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: None


Q 6

K Q J 5 4

A K 9 7 2



10 8 7 4 3

7 6 2


J 10 7 5



A 9 8 3

Q 8 3

9 8 6 4 3


A K J 9 2


10 6 5 4

A Q 2


South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
2 NT Pass 3 Pass
3 NT Pass 4 Pass
4 NT Pass 6 NT All Pass

Opening Lead: 7

“Wisdom denotes the pursuing of the best ends by the best means.”

— Francis Hutcheson

This week’s deals all come from the 2009 Lederer Invitational tournament, marking this year’s event to be held in London this weekend. Eight of the stronger teams in the U.K. and Europe play a round-robin event using a form of scoring closer to pairs than teams.

Awards are given for the outstanding deals in the bidding and play. Here is the best-bid hand for the weekend. It is rare that a contract reached at only one table is exactly 100%, but such was the case for South’s six no-trump.

The key to this hand was to avoid playing in diamonds, which Keith Bennett (South) did comfortably by never supporting the suit. After the normal first two calls, Bennett upgraded his hand by virtue of its two red 10s and rebid two no-trump, which in his methods was natural and showed extras.

After two natural slam tries by his partner, Neil Rosen, Bennett saw no benefit to playing in diamonds and bid a natural four no-trump, suggesting a minimum hand with no great fit for either red suit. Now it was Rosen’s turn to re-evaluate. Looking at honors in both black suits, he simply bid what he thought he could make. Bennett could win the heart lead in hand, then cross to dummy with a club, and drive out the heart ace. Even if neither major suit split, declarer would have been able to establish a third heart winner and claim four spades, two diamonds, and three tricks each in hearts and clubs.

Note that six diamonds goes down on the bad trump break.


South Holds:

A K J 9 2
10 6 5 4
A Q 2


South West North East
  1 Pass 1
1 2 Pass Pass
ANSWER: Before you pass after partner was unable to compete at his second turn, consider that you have extra values and the opponents have found a fit. If they do, then so must your side! Even if you have only a seven-card spade fit, how bad can that be? Double for takeout and resolve never to let the opponents declare the hand at a low level when they have a fit and your side has values.


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