Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All


A 5 3 2

Q J 10 4

9 6 5

4 2



9 8 7

K J 3 2

A Q 8 6 3


6 4

K 6 5 2

Q 10 8

J 10 9 5


K Q J 10 8 7

A 3

A 7 4

K 7


South West North East
1 Pass 2 Pass
4 All Pass    

Opening Lead: 9

“None but the well-bred man knows how to confess a fault, or acknowledge himself in an error.”

— Benjamin Franklin

In today’s deal from the Dyspeptics Club, South picked up his rock-crusher with the air of a man who knew he deserved nothing less and drove to game as soon as he found the spade fit. The lead of the heart nine encouraged him to believe that the deal would be a pianola. (For those of you too young to remember, a pianola “plays itself.”)

He covered the heart nine with the 10, which held the trick. Then he drew trumps in two rounds and paused for reflection, realizing that there was a shortage of entries to dummy to set up the hearts. Finally, shrugging his shoulders, he cashed the heart ace, hoping for a minor miracle, then crossed to the spade ace and advanced the heart jack, covered by East. South ruffed and played the diamond ace and a second diamond. East overtook his partner’s jack to shift to a club, and down South went.

For once, North was temporarily silent, giving South the opportunity to complain about his bad luck. That triggered an outburst from North, in which “pinhead” was the most flattering epithet. Can you see what North was upset about?

Four spades is cold after the heart lead, as long as declarer wins the first trick with the heart ace. He then draws trump — in three rounds if necessary — preserving dummy’s entry. Next he knocks out the heart king and can claim at least 10 tricks: three hearts, six spades and the diamond ace.


South Holds:

A 5 3 2
Q J 10 4
9 6 5
4 2


South West North East
  1 1 NT Pass
ANSWER: Opinions would be divided about whether you have enough to invite if you were facing an opening bid of one no-trump. However, the upper range for a one-no-trump overcall is a fraction higher, and there are so many ways that a Stayman inquiry might work here that it is clear to bid two clubs, then invite game in either no-trump or a major-suit fit, if you find one.


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