Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dealer: East

Vul: All


10 2

A 10 7 3

A 10 9 5 3



K Q 9

9 8 6 2

8 4 2

J 5 2


8 5 3

5 4

K J 7 6

K 10 9 4


A J 7 6 4



8 7 6 3


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

Opening Lead: Your choice!

“To err is human, not to, animal.”

— Robert Frost

To mark the world championships currently taking place in Philadelphia, all this week’s deals come from last year’s championships from Sao Paulo.

When England played Indonesia, there were two identical auctions to three no-trump. A club lead would have been fatal, but against Colin Simpson, West selected the heart nine. Declarer won with his jack and immediately ran the diamond queen. East took his king and shifted to the spade three (when maybe the eight would have been a better choice).

South should have won the trick, cashed the heart king, overtaken the heart queen with dummy’s ace, and played on diamonds. At worst he would have lost two spades and two diamonds. But declarer ducked the spade, which might have allowed West to win and shift to a club.

However, West was equally fooled by his partner’s low-spade shift, so he continued with the spade king. South could now claim 10 winners.

In the other room, John Holland (West) led the heart two. South started in identical fashion, winning in his hand and running the diamond queen. But now came the key difference: Gunnar Hallberg (East), a Swede who has lived in England for many years, ducked. And now the contract could not be brought home.

South tried a low spade, but West won with his queen and shifted to the club two. East took dummy’s queen with his king and returned the four, West carefully unblocking his jack. Declarer was now dead in the water.


South Holds:

A J 7 6 4
8 7 6 3


South West North East
  3 Dbl. Pass
ANSWER: You are too strong for a simple bid of four spades, since it is easy to envisage quite moderate hands opposite where slam might be laydown. At the same time you don’t want to risk the five-level unnecessarily, so cue-bid four clubs, planning to bid four spades over a red-suit response. This sequence simply suggests a good four-spade bid, in case partner has extras.


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

1 Comment

Bobby WolffOctober 25th, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Hi Bet365,

Thanks for your note.

Yes, bridge itself is an exciting subject and good declarer’s play and superior defense is always an interesting confrontation..

I hope you read about many interesting bridge topics in the weeks and months to come.