Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dealer: South

Vul: All


9 4

Q J 9 7

8 6 4 2

K 8 3



6 5 3 2

K 5

Q 10 9 7 6 4


8 7 3 2


10 9 7 3

A J 5 2


A K Q J 10 5

A K 10 8



South West North East
2 Pass 2 Pass
2 Pass 2 NT Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
5 NT Pass 6* Pass
7 All Pass    
*One trump honor

Opening Lead: 2

“The danger chiefly lies in acting well;

No crime’s so great as daring to excel.”

— Charles Churchill

In today’s deal, when the heart fit came to light, you could not conveniently use Blackwood because of your void. However, this is one of the rare sequences these days when you can use a jump to five no-trump as the grand slam force to discover if North holds the trump queen, not to offer a choice of slams. The conventional responses are by steps, so your partner shows the trump queen — enough for you to take a shot at the big prize. West leads a trump against the grand slam, and East follows. How do you plan to make your ambitious contract?

It may seem that you will need to finesse in diamonds at some stage. However, you have 11 winners — four in trumps, six in spades and one in diamonds. Can you generate two extra trump tricks by ruffing in dummy? No, but all you need to do is to ruff two clubs in your hand and you will have a total of 13 winners.

You win the trump lead with dummy’s nine and ruff a club with the ace (retaining the 10). You re-enter dummy by overtaking the trump 10 with the queen and ruff a second club with the trump king.

Next, you return to dummy with the spade nine to draw West’s remaining trumps with North’s J-7, discarding the diamond Q-J from hand. As your hand will have only winners left, your slam has rolled home.


South Holds:

8 7 3 2
10 9 7 3
A J 5 2


South West North East
Pass 1 Dbl. Pass
2 2 Pass Pass
ANSWER: Your partner is not supposed to bid again here without significant extras in shape or high cards, so his pass over two diamonds is not a danger signal. Although you have diamond length, you have no strength in that suit, so it seems right to try to push the opponents up a level by bidding three clubs now.


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