Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 6th, 2011

Vulnerable: Neither

Dealer: North


A K 6 5

K J 3

K 6 4 3 2



10 2

10 9 7 6

Q 8 7

Q J 5 4


Q 9 8 7

A 8 2


K 10 9 8 6


J 4 3

Q 5 4

A J 9 5

7 3 2


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

Opening Lead: Club four

“Wish me good speed,

For I am going into a wilderness

Where I shall find nor path nor friendly clue

To be my guide.”

— John Webster

One of the best tournaments in England is a double-elimination event, the Spring Foursomes. In the 2005 event David Price’s squad was undefeated in the double-elimination phase. At the end of their allotted boards in their next match, Price was down by 48 IMPs, but they exercised their option, as an undefeated team, to play a further eight deals. They garnered an incredible 52 IMPs to win the match and reach the final. The fairy tale ended there, however, since they lost in the finals.

In this deal from the tournament West led the club four against Price’s contract of three no-trump, suggesting that he had led from a four-card suit. Dummy’s ace won, but as the bidding had cried out for a major-suit lead, Price placed West with no five-card suit, relatively short holdings in both majors, and inferentially, three cards in diamonds. Therefore at trick two he led a low diamond to his ace. Seeing East’s 10 drop, he continued with the jack. When this held, the nine to dummy’s queen allowed the suit to be run.

There are eight tricks, but any attempt to try for a ninth in hearts would see East take his ace, and an avalanche of clubs would follow. As it was, though, East was squeezed on the last diamond. To protect the heart ace and spade queen, he had to let a club go. Now declarer could afford to play a heart, as all that the defense could then cash were three club tricks. Contract made.


South holds:

J 7 6 2
A 9
10 2
Q 8 6 3 2


South West North East
1 Pass 1
Pass 2 Pass 4
All pass
ANSWER: When you have trump control, the lead of a doubleton has rather more to recommend it than usual. Here, while a spade lead might work (or even a club lead, to give partner a ruff), it is somewhat easier to envision diamond ruffs, so I would lead the diamond 10.


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


David WarheitJune 21st, 2011 at 5:54 am

Whoops! You repeated Monday’s column. Pretty please, give us Tuesday’s.

Bobby WolffJune 23rd, 2011 at 3:06 pm

Hi David,

Sorry for the gaffe. However since I see that Tuesday got up, (but for some reason two Mondays remain), perhaps, except for cosmetics, nothing horrible remains.

Whoever wrote the old time love song, might consider changing its name to:

Sunday, Monday and then Monday again and always.