Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, December 3, 2010

Dealer: West

Vul: All


9 4 3

A 7

Q J 9 8 5

6 5 3


Q J 10 8 2

9 6 5 2

6 4 3




K 10 8

A 7 2

Q 10 8 7 4 2


K 7 6 5

Q J 4 3

K 10

A K 9


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

Opening Lead: Q

“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.”

— Arthur Schopenhauer

With support for both major suits, South has a case for doubling one club rather than making a one-no-trump overcall. However, if North-South belongs in game, North will be able to look for any major-suit fit in comfort, even after the no-trump overcall.

On the given auction North is certainly worth at least an invitational rebid since he appears to have a source of tricks and an entry to them.

With so many values in his short suits, South is probably right to reject the invitation. And indeed, as the cards lie, even the no-trump partscore may be in some jeopardy.

South was allowed to bring home his two-no-trump contract. East won the opening spade lead and shifted to a small club. Declarer flew up with the ace and drove out the diamond ace. The defenders cleared clubs, but South had his eight winners.

East should have recognized the threat of dummy’s diamond suit becoming established and have sacrificed his heart king at the second trick to kill dummy’s only entry card. Subsequently, East must work out when to take his diamond ace — and note that West can tell his partner how many diamonds he has. West can indicate to East that he has three diamonds by playing low-high when the suit is led so that East will know to win the second diamond lead.

If East defends perfectly, he can hold declarer to seven tricks, but if he ducks the second diamond, he lets through the partscore.


South Holds:

K 10 8
A 7 2
Q 10 8 7 4 2


South West North East
2 2 2 Pass
ANSWER: Even if you play a new suit as forcing, if West had passed over two clubs, a two-spade call here should show a good suit but not be forcing. You have a minimum in high cards, and while it is tempting to retreat to three clubs, you do have a broken suit. Imagine partner with six spades to the Q-J, and you will see that his hand will play much better in spades. So pass two spades.


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


jim2December 17th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Switch South’s spade seven for North’s nine (or West’s eight), and declarer could still have engineered a happy ending.

On such small things do large ones so oft depend.

bobbywolffDecember 18th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Hi Jim2,

Amen! And how about an original club lead from West and although East could not overtake it at trick one because of the presence of declarer’s club nine it still should lead to the defeat of the contract.

Possibly the general analysis of such arithmetical gambits will end with the conclusion that numeracy is perhaps the most important quality in the development of world class ability within a potential players mind.

However, even without that possessed genius, bridge still offers “off the chart” delights, such as social intercourse, continual healthy competition, and other mind games to those who take it up seriously.

Too many shy away from its many beauties and by so doing miss out on some exhilarating experiences.

Thank you Jim2, for being ever present to remind us