Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All


K 5

7 6 2

A 10 9 3

A 9 4 3


J 10 9 7 4

Q 10 5

Q 8 5

10 2


Q 8 3

9 8 4 3

J 7 6 4

6 5


A 6 2


K 2

K Q J 8 7


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

Opening Lead: J

“We know too much, and are convinced of too little.”

— T.S. Eliot

Six clubs would have been easy today — your jump to six no-trump is explicable only because the game is pairs. When West leads the spade queen, how do you plan to make 12 tricks?

You have 11 top tricks, with chances of a 12th trick in either hearts or diamonds. Your aim should be to combine these chances to best advantage.

As you want to put the defenders under pressure by running five rounds of clubs while throwing a heart from dummy, you will need a late entry to the diamonds. So, you win the first trick with the spade ace and then run the clubs. West does best to trust his partner’s encouraging signal at the first trick and throw three spades, while East discards three hearts on the clubs.

Next you should attack diamonds. The best way to tackle that suit is to cash the diamond king and then lead the diamond two, covering a low card from West with dummy’s nine. When East wins with the jack and exits with a heart, you will rise with the heart ace and cross to dummy with the spade king. You play the diamond ace, throwing a spade from hand. When West produces the queen on the third round of the suit, you will make 12 tricks on this layout. But of course if diamonds had not been so friendly, you would have fallen back on the heart finesse.

This plan brings home the slam about three times in four.


South Holds:

K 5
7 6 2
A 10 9 3
A 9 4 3


South West North East
  1 1 Pass
1 NT Pass 2 Pass
ANSWER: Your partner’s sequence is not a drop-dead confession of weakness. He could have made a weak jump overcall initially, so this sequence typically shows 10-13 or so and six or more spades, not enough for an invitational jump to three spades. That said, you have just enough to invite game by raising to three 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