Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: N/S


K 5 4 2

K J 4


Q 9 8 5 2


J 9 8


Q 10 7 2

J 10 7 4 3


A Q 10 7 6

10 8 2

9 6 4 3




A Q 7 6 5 3

A K J 5



South West North East
2 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 4 Pass
4 NT Pass 5 Pass
6 All Pass    

Opening Lead: 9

“The man is a perfect stone. We might boil him in the pig-market, and we should get no word out of him.”

— Victor Hugo

As big, if not especially bad, Wolff, I’ve always had a remarkably soft spot for the tormentor of the three little pigs. Let’s look at them in action here, where each one of them declares six hearts on the challenging trump lead. Little piggy number one wins the trump in dummy and ruffs a diamond, crosses to the club ace to ruff a second diamond, then leads a second club and is more hurt than surprised when East ruffs in and cashes his spade ace for down one.

Little piggy number two exerts a trifle more diligence. He wins the trump lead and crosses back to hand with a top club to ruff a second diamond. So far so good, but now, after cashing dummy’s top trump, he leads a low spade from the board, and East steels himself to duck the trick. West wins his spade eight and returns a club. East ruffs, and there is no joy in Pigville.

The third little piggy is made of sterner stuff. Again, play starts with a trump lead won in dummy. Declarer cashes both top diamonds, ruffs a diamond low, then crosses to hand with a club to ruff a second diamond. If diamonds had not split, he might need to risk coming back to hand with a club to draw the trumps. As it is, he now exits from dummy by leading the spade king! This prevents the club ruff, unless one defender has the spade ace and five clubs, when declarer was doomed anyway.


South Holds:

K 5 4 2
K J 4
Q 9 8 5 2


South West North East
  1 1 Pass
2 Dbl. Rdbl. 2
ANSWER: Your partner has a maximum overcall, and you have what looks like a good hand for defense. Double two spades — which is not a command, but more of a suggestion to defend. If your partner simply has a good hand and very short spades, he does not have to sit for the double.


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