Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dealer: North

Vul: E/W


9 7 4 3

A K 7


A 9 8 6 4


K J 10 6 5

10 9

Q 8 5 4

K 2


A Q 8

J 6 5

J 10 2

Q J 10 7



Q 8 4 3 2

A K 7 6 3

5 3


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

Opening Lead: 10

“Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.”

— Robert South

After North opened light, sensibly relying on the extra controls and 5-4 pattern, South found the heart fit and drove to game.

If West had led and continued spades, declarer would have had an easy time of it by playing along crossruff lines. He would have ruffed the second spade and cashed his minor -suit top winners. Then he could crossruff spades and diamonds to win a total of seven trump tricks and three plain-suit winners. If East ruffed high on the fourth spade, declarer would have been able to discard his club loser and eventually ruff a club in hand.

But West found the more challenging lead of a trump, and now declarer could see the crossruff would fail. One possibility was to duck a club. The plan would be to take a second club with the ace, lead a third round for South to ruff, and (if the suit split) go back to dummy with the third round of trumps to cash the two long clubs.

South found a better line when he won the heart in dummy, played the diamond ace, ruffed a diamond, then played dummy’s second top trump and gave up a spade. He could arrange to ruff a spade, draw the last trump, then play the diamond king and concede a diamond while he still had one trump remaining with which to regain the lead and cash the last diamond. Declarer emerged with five hearts, four diamonds and a club trick.


South Holds:

Q 8 4 3 2
A K 7 6 3
5 3


South West North East
ANSWER: If you play the Michaels Cuebid, where a direct cuebid shows at least 5-5 with the other major and an unspecified minor, this hand is tailor-made for the bid. If at unfavorable vulnerability you might be a little worried by the weak heart intermediates, but showing the hand at one go makes the risk worthwhile.


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