Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dealer: West

Vul: None


A 8 6

7 5

K Q 10 7

A Q 4 2


10 7 4 3

8 6 2

A 6 5

8 6 5


Q J 5

K J 10 9 4

8 2

K 10 9


K 9 2

A Q 3

J 9 4 3

J 7 3


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

Opening Lead: 2

“Progress, therefore, is not an accident, but a necessity … It is a part of nature.”

— Herbert Spencer

In today’s deal South survived the first two hurdles in his contract of three no-trump, but tripped over the third.

South’s first good decision was to respond two no-trump rather than raising diamonds. His well-placed heart honors persuaded him to take the clubs on trust, a sensible enough gamble. When North raised his partner to three no-trump, West obediently kicked off with the heart two (to clarify the count in that suit for his partner). East played the heart king, and South ducked.

South won the heart return with the ace, but now fell from grace by playing on diamonds. When West took the ace, he still had a heart left to return, which removed declarer’s last stop. Declarer had eight tricks, but needed a second club trick. When the finesse failed, so did the contract.

The danger hand is East; therefore, East’s entry must be attacked before South’s last heart stopper is removed. If West has the club king, there is no problem: the finesse of the club queen will win, then the diamond ace can be dislodged. If East has both the diamond ace and the club king, the contract is doomed anyway. But if, as here, West has the diamond ace and East the club king, then when West eventually comes on lead with his ace, he will have no heart to return.

Note that if the defenders shift to spades at trick two, West becomes the danger hand, and declarer must play on diamonds before clubs.


South Holds:

K 9 2
A Q 3
J 9 4 3
J 7 3


South West North East
    1 Dbl.
Rdbl. 1 Pass Pass
ANSWER: Having shown 10 or more points with your redouble, you can comfortably bid just one no-trump now. There is no reason to assume that you want partner to bid on, unless he has some sort of extra high-cards or shape. The more space you can save, the better the picture your partner will be able to paint.


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