Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, May 1st, 2011

Vulnerable: East-West

Dealer: West


Q 9 8 5

A 7 3

J 3

A K 6 3



K 10 9 8 6 5 2

A 8 5

Q 10


K J 2

J 4

K 10 9 7

9 8 7 2


A 7 6 4 3


Q 6 4 2

J 5 4


South West North East
2 Pass Pass
2 Pass 4 All pass

Opening Lead: Heart 10

“Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.”

— Horace

Vincent Demuy of Canada, who is just out of the junior ranks, has achieved some spectacular results in national and international events.

He was in action on this deal from the 2005 Cavendish Teams. When Demuy ventured a balancing action of two spades over West’s weak two, he quickly found himself in game.

The lead was the heart 10, and since declarer thought he needed to find a home for his club loser (not knowing that West had a doubleton queen), Demuy ducked the opening lead to his queen.

At this point the hand hinged on losing no more than one trump trick, so Demuy set about locating the positions of the outstanding honor cards. He started with a diamond to the jack and king. Back came a club to the jack, queen and ace. Declarer exited dummy with a diamond to his queen and West’s ace. The heart return was taken by dummy’s ace, and declarer assembled the clues.

West had opened with a weak two-bid and had already shown up with an ace, a king and a queen. If West also held the spade king, he would have opened one heart, not two. So Demuy led the spade queen from dummy, hoping for an even trump split or for a significant spade singleton in West. When the spade 10 put in an appearance, Demuy had held his trump losers to one and made his game.


South holds:

K 10 9 8 6 5 2
A 8 5
Q 10


South West North East
ANSWER: In our featured deal West treated this hand as a vulnerable weak two in hearts, not a three-level pre-empt. I agree with his choice: a three-level pre-empt requires a better suit and suggests less outside. Nonvulnerable, I would not do that. Even though the suit is a little too weak, I would open either three hearts or one heart. I am not in favor of passing such hands — one never can catch up.


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