Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: N/S


J 10 4

A K 3 2


6 3 2


3 2

Q 10 8

10 8 5

K 10 9 8 5


6 5

9 7 6

J 9 4 3 2

Q 7 4


A K Q 9 8 7

J 5 4

7 6



South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 NT Pass
5* Pass 5 Pass
6** Pass 7 All Pass
*Three aces, counting the trump king as an ace
**The trump queen but no side kings

Opening Lead: 3

“They tell me when the fleeting charm

Of novelty is o’er,

Thou’lt turn away with careless brow

And think of me no more.”

— Emma Embury

Some bridge books totally transcend the test of time. Others just need to be brought up to date to reflect bidding changes of the last two decades. Thanks to Ron Klinger of Australia who updated the classic “The Mistakes You Make at Bridge” by Terence Reese and Roger Trezel.

This is a book with something for everyone. It concentrates on the errors even experienced players commit from time to time, and a frequent flip through should keep your game well honed, no matter what your level of ability.

In today’s deal, North asked for the trump queen, then took a stab at the spade grand slam. After drawing trumps in two rounds, what do you do next?

Did you, in a moment of aberration, discard the club jack on the third diamond, cash the heart ace, and run the spades, hoping for a miracle in hearts or a squeeze? If so, down you go!

A far better chance exists — namely, that either the heart queen drops doubleton, or that hearts divide 3-3. Accordingly you must take the chances in the right order. After drawing trumps, cash the ace and king of hearts. If the queen has failed to appear, continue with the three top diamonds and discard not the club jack, but the heart jack, on the third diamond. Then ruff a heart. With hearts breaking 3-3, dummy is re-entered in trumps, and only now is the club jack jettisoned — on the 13th heart.


South Holds:

3 2
Q 10 8
10 8 5
K 10 9 8 5


South West North East
  1 1 1 NT
Pass Pass Dbl. Pass
ANSWER: This double is for takeout, suggesting five spades and relatively short hearts. North rates to have three cards in each minor, or to be planning to correct a bid in clubs to two diamonds to show something akin to five spades and four diamonds. For the time being, simply bid two clubs and await developments, if any.


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