Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All


K 8 7 5

A 9 2

K 7 5

A 10 3


Q J 10 3

J 7 5

8 4

8 7 5 2


9 6 2

Q 8 6 4

J 10 9 2

9 6


A 4

K 10 3

A Q 6 3

K Q J 4


South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
2 NT Pass 6 NT All Pass

Opening Lead: 8

“He who has never hoped can never despair.”

— G.B. Shaw

In his contract of six no-trump declarer can count 12 winners if the diamonds split 3-3, but if they do not, do not despair. Brace yourselves: the only remaining chance is to bring off a squeeze. To develop this possibility, dec1arer has to give away one trick to reduce his potential winners to all the rest but one. This is almost always good technique for a squeeze.

The only suit in which South can duck a trick without dipping into his counted winners or the vital threat cards (the fourth diamond, or third heart) is spades. He should therefore immediately give away a spade trick by playing the spade ace and ducking a spade.

After this, declarer must manipulate his entries (his precise play being dependent on what the defenders shift to after taking their spade winner) toward the ending he desires.

Specifically, declarer will play three rounds of each suit other than hearts. North is left with one spade and three hearts. South is left with two hearts (one has been discarded on the spade king), one diamond and the last club winner. When the club is led, West must save his high spade, so must reduce to two hearts. North pitches his now irrelevant spade, and the focus turns to East. That player must save his high diamond, so must reduce to two hearts. Now declarer wins all three heart tricks.

If the defenders attack hearts, declarer can kill the queen or jack, then finesse successfully against the other honor.


South Holds:

K 8 7 5
A 9 2
K 7 5
A 10 3


South West North East
Dbl. Rdbl. Pass Pass
ANSWER: Your partner’s pass does NOT show club length and a desire to play in this contract. It simply indicates no long suit of his own. Since you have only one four-card suit, you might as well bid it, but if the opponents double in a bloodthirsty turn, you might find one no-trump to be a less expensive spot.


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