Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, September 17, 2010

Dealer: North

Vul: N/S


9 5

A J 9

Q J 7

K 7 5 4 3


K 10 8 5 2

A K 5 2

A 10 9 2


Q 7 3 2

7 4 3

9 8 4

Q J 6


A K J 10 8 6 4

Q 6

10 6 3



South West North East
    1 Pass
1* Dbl. Pass Pass
4 Dbl. All Pass  

Opening Lead: K

“Not wrung from speculations and subtleties, but from common sense and observation.”

— Thomas Browne

The Lederer tournament, an invitational teams event for eight of the top squads in Europe, will be played this coming weekend and relayed on All this week’s deals come from last year’s event.

Victor Silverstone usually provides a couple of stimulating hands, and today’s deal, which is one of his, contains some interesting points.

Four spades doubled was typical of the rough and tumble of international play, with chances for both sides to do better. In the auction, the one-club opening was clubs or balanced, and the one-heart response showed spades, a style that is becoming increasingly popular at the very top levels of the game.

West cashed his minor-suit winners and exited with a club, ruffed by South, a key play. In retrospect Silverstone believed he should have taken a first-round trump finesse, but he recovered well.

After cashing the spade ace and discovering the bad news, he led a heart to dummy’s jack. Now he repeated the spade finesse, crossed to a diamond, ruffed another club, returned to dummy with the heart ace, and led another club to trump-coup East in the two-card ending.

You will perhaps have spotted West’s error: he should have inserted the heart king on the first round of the suit, after which declarer is an entry short for the coup. Better still would have been to exit with a diamond rather than a club at trick three; then finding the blocking play would have been unnecessary.


South Holds:

Q 7 3 2
7 4 3
9 8 4
Q J 6


South West North East
  1 Dbl. 1
Pass 3 Dbl. Pass
ANSWER: Your partner has shown a great hand by doubling again. The second double is also takeout. Having passed over one heart at your first turn, you can hardly do less than bid four spades now. Partner can’t really expect you to have any more than this.


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