Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Dealer: North

Vul: E-W


A K 10 3

5 4 2

J 10 5 4 3



8 6 5

Q J 10 8 6

7 2

J 6 5


Q J 9 2

K 7

A K 6

10 9 7 3


7 4

A 9 3

Q 9 8

A K Q 4 2


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

Opening Lead: Queen

“The most positive men are the most credulous.”

— Alexander Pope

From the last European Open Championships, Ismail Kandemir and Suleyman Kolata found an elegant way to beat three no-trump.


When Kademir led a top heart, instead of overtaking to unblock the suit, East deliberately ducked, persuading declarer to duck once, and then again on his partner’s low heart continuation to the king. Kolata now found the killing shift to a top spade, won in dummy. He ducked the diamond play and won the second diamond to play a second top spade, surrendering a trick to cut declarer’s communications.


The best declarer could do now was cash the spade 10, pitching a diamond from hand, then take the heart ace, but South could keep his clubs and take the last two tricks.


The same sort of defense was found by Thomas and Michel Bessis. A top-heart lead was overtaken by East and ducked by declarer, for a high-spade shift by East. Declarer won and continued with a diamond to the nine. When this held, he continued with the diamond queen. South won this and continued with the spade jack, taken in dummy with the king.


Declarer did not succeed from this point, but in fact South did have a resource, as demonstrated at yet a third table, by French international Pierre Zimmermann, He cashed his three clubs and his heart ace, then exited with a diamond. East now had a club to cash but only two spades left, and dummy had a spade and diamond winner.


South Holds:

Q J 9 2
K 7
A K 6
10 9 7 3


South West North East
1 Dbl. 1 1
1 NT Pass 2 Pass
ANSWER: Even if your partnership plays New Minor Forcing after a no-trump rebid, that does not apply in competition. In this sequence the call of two diamonds simply asks you to pick between the suits at the two-level, and since you have a marked preference for diamonds, you should simply pass.


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 2011. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact


Ernie HammMarch 20th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

In the 4th paragraph it should say

East won this and continued with the spade jack

bobbywolffMarch 21st, 2011 at 1:29 am

Hi Ernie,

Thanks for the correction. Yes East, not South, was the one who continued with the spade jack.

Sorry for the confusion.