Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, October 1, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: E/W



K Q 10 5 3

Q 7 4 2

7 5


10 6 3 2


A J 9 8

Q J 10 6


A J 9 8

9 8 6


9 8 4 3 2


7 5 4

A J 7 4

K 6 5 3



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

Opening Lead: Q

“Since knowledge is but sorrow’s spy,

It is not safe to know.”

— Sir William Davenant

In today’s deal the four-heart contract hinged on South’s taking evasive action to insure he held his diamond losers to two tricks. Sadly, declarer was not up to the task.

The club queen was won in hand and declarer drew trumps in three rounds before playing a spade to dummy’s king and East’s ace. Winning the club return, South cashed dummy’s spade queen, then played a diamond to the 10, king and ace. Now three diamond tricks had to be lost, and with them, the contract.

A spade loser is inevitable, so all of declarer’s efforts should be directed toward holding the diamond losers to two. There is no problem if diamonds break 3-2; curiously, the 4-1 split should not have proved an insurmountable obstacle, either.

The black suits need to be eliminated, so on winning the club lead, best is to play a spade immediately. West wins and returns a club — no other return is better. South wins, dummy’s second spade is cashed, trumps are drawn ending in hand, and South’s last spade is ruffed.

Now comes a low diamond, and irrespective of the card contributed by East, South should play low. If diamonds break 3-2, declarer will lose only two diamond tricks. But if the suit breaks 4-1, then regardless of whether West allows East’s 10 to hold or overtakes with the jack, a black suit return will allow a ruff and discard, and the play of a diamond presents declarer with two tricks in the suit.


South Holds:

K Q 10 5 3
Q 7 4 2
7 5


South West North East
1 Dbl. Rdbl. 1
ANSWER: Your partner’s redouble simply announces a good hand, generally one suitable for defense. With your decent values, extra shape and a convenient second suit to bid, do not hold back. Simply bid two diamonds to tell your partner what you have. Let him go on from there.


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