Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dealer: West

Vul: All


A J 5 4

J 9

A 10 8 4

9 7 3


10 6 2

A Q 7 6

Q J 6

A 8 4


K 9 3

10 4

K 7 5 3 2

K 6 5


Q 8 7

K 8 5 3 2


Q J 10 2


South West North East
  1 Pass 1
Pass 1 NT Pass Pass
2 Dbl. All Pass  

Opening Lead: Q

“Yet both so passing strange and wonderful!”

— Percy Bysshe Shelley

There is a strange coincidence linking yesterday’s deal, played in 1997 by Michael Rosenberg, to today’s, which was played by Jared Lilienstein five years later. His teammates at the time included Rosenberg, who collected a partscore for East-West in one no-trump on this deal.

In our featured room, after the same start, Jared (South) protected with two hearts. Clearly not a student of bridge literature, West doubled and led the diamond queen to dummy’s ace. A club to the jack scored, and the next club went to East’s king. East tried to cash the diamond king, but Lilienstein ruffed and finessed in spades.

Now East had her chance to play a trump — West cashes two trumps and then plays the diamond six East’s king to set up a force. Instead, though, East exited in clubs to West, who played a second spade.

Lilienstein won in dummy, ruffed a diamond, cashed the spade queen, and had reached a four-card ending where he had taken six tricks. He had three trumps and the 13th club in hand; dummy had a spade, a diamond and two trumps; and West was down to all trumps.

When declarer led his club, planning to ruff with the trump jack and lead a diamond to endplay West, that player could do no better than ruff in with the heart queen and lead back a low trump to the nine, 10 and king. With the eight and jack of trumps left, Lilienstein was sure of one more trick for his contract.


South Holds:

A J 5 4
J 9
A 10 8 4
9 7 3


South West North East
Pass 1 Pass 2
ANSWER: It is a common mistake to double on auctions of this sort. Bear in mind that West is unlimited. While it would be absolutely clear with these cards to balance with a double if two clubs were passed around to you, here the auction is still live. Doubling two clubs does not show this hand at all. It is for penalties based on a club stack.


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