Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vulnerable: East-West

Dealer: South


Q 7 6

A K 9 8 6 4


6 5 2


J 8 3 2

7 5

10 4 2

Q J 7 4


5 4


K Q J 9 7 6 5 3

K 10


A K 10 9

Q J 10 2


A 9 8 3


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

* Hearts

Opening Lead: Diamond two

“The Comic Muse, long sick, is now a-dying!

And if she goes, my tears will never stop;

For as a player, I can’t squeeze out one drop.”

— Oliver Goldsmith

In today’s deal North-South were playing transfer responses to their one-club openings. This allowed South to become declarer in six hearts, despite East’s pre-emptive maneuvers.

In fact the final contract was a good one, but maybe the duplication in values in diamonds (which should have been obvious when North moved forward at his second turn) might have indicated that South should have pulled in his horns at his third turn to speak. There was no possibility of diamond ruffs in either hand, and the risk of inevitable club losers had become more substantial. Had North’s black-suit queen been in clubs, not spades, the slam would have been far less promising.

On West’s diamond lead South could see that if spades behaved, he would be home. It would have been easy to settle for that chance, but declarer identified another significant chance — namely, that one hand (presumably West) would hold at least four cards in both spades and clubs and would consequently be squeezed.

Therefore, after drawing trumps, South ducked a club to rectify the count (meaning that by ducking the trick, South now needed all the rest of the tricks rather than the rest but one, making it easier to play for a squeeze). East won the first club with the 10 and returned the king.

On winning, declarer ran all the trumps, throwing clubs from hand. West, unable to withstand the pressure, threw his clubs, so dummy’s club six became South’s 12th trick.


South holds:

J 8 3 2
7 5
10 4 2
Q J 7 4


South West North East
1 Dbl. Pass
1 Pass 3 Pass
ANSWER: Your partner’s sequence suggests four or five spades and about a 20-count. In this sequence you should use any excuse to bid on to game — and here you don’t need an excuse. With four spades, a ruffing value, and some potentially useful clubs, bid game with confidence.


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