Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces On Bridge: Saturday, May 28th, 2011

Vulnerable: Neither

Dealer: South


8 7

A J 9 7 6

A 8 7

K J 7


K 10 4

K Q J 10 9 5

9 8 5 2


J 10 9 6 4

8 5 2

4 2

10 6 4


A K Q 5 3 2

Q 3

6 3

A Q 3


South West North East
1 2 2 Pass
3 Pass 4 Pass
5 Pass 6 All pass

Opening Lead: Diamond king

“What, comrade of a night,

No sooner meet than fight?

Before the word, the blow?

Well, be it so.”

— Alice Brown

When the editors of two rival bridge magazines cross swords in an important tournament, you might expect some fireworks — and you would be right.

South was Jean-Paul Meyer, then editor of Le Bridgeur; East was Pierre Schemeil, editor of Bridge de France, who died in 2006. The venue was the Trials to determine the French team for the World Championships.

In six spades,Meyer won the opening diamond lead in dummy and led a spade. His plan was to draw trumps and take the heart finesse for the contract. Schemeil would have done better to duck the trump, but he feared South might have no outside losers and would let the eight run as a safety play. He covered.

Meyer won the trick, and saw he would need a miracle to avoid two spade losers. He led the heart queen, which was covered and taken by the ace, and a second trump from dummy was covered and won by declarer. A heart to the nine and jack provided a parking place for declarer’s losing diamond. Now a diamond was ruffed in the closed hand and three rounds of clubs followed, with the lead ending in dummy. With North to play, South had the A-5-3 of trumps left; East had the J-6-4.

When a diamond was led from dummy, East was forced to ruff with the six. Meyer underruffed with the three, and now when East exited with the four, South took the last two tricks with the ace and the five. Bien joue!


South holds:

A K Q 5 3 2
Q 3
6 3
A Q 3


South West North East
2 3 Pass
ANSWER: New suits in response to an overcall of a weak bid must be played as forcing by an unpassed hand, as here. There is no need to take control of the auction yet; simply make a natural and forcing call of three spades and try to find out what suit will play best as trumps.


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


Albert OhanaJune 11th, 2011 at 11:51 am

Hi M. Wolff

It was a real pleasure to follow you on BBO during your match against Lynch.

Bravo for your play and your victory, and Bonne chance for the next !

Al. Ohana

John Howard GibsonJune 12th, 2011 at 6:27 am

The beauty and wonder of bridge ( unlike any other sport ) is that age does not impair performance one jot : once a great always a great.

bobbywolffJune 12th, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Hi Albert,

Much thanks for your kind words.

I’ve lost many times and won only a few, but it should be said that I like winning better.

It could also be said that losing is worse than dying, if only because when one loses, it is likely he will have to endure it again.

If you become tired of me trying to become a comedian, rest assured that I agree with you.

bobbywolffJune 12th, 2011 at 5:43 pm


And once a night’s enough.

To understand how powerful luck can become, just imagine oneself making as bad a bridge defensive play as could ever be made and having, in this case BBO, have a minor foul up, therefore relegating my idiot play to the edit room floor.

When you are hot you are hot.

Thanks for your special words and your continuing support for Judy, me and above all, our off the charts game.