Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Dealer: East

Vul: Neither


Q 6 4

A K 10 7 5


10 8 4 3


10 8 2

Q 8 2

K J 10 6 4

9 7


K 9 7 3

J 9 6

8 3

A Q J 6


A J 5

4 3

Q 9 7 5 2

K 5 2


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

Opening Lead: Spade 8

“Oh mighty love! Man is one world, and hath

Another to attend him.”

— George Herbert

Every two years the World Junior Pairs is held in Europe. Today’s deal from this event 15 years ago features Boye Brogeland, now generally regarded as one of the world’s top players.


After a typically aggressive junior-style pre-empt by West, North-South were goaded into three no-trump, when they would probably have stopped in two hearts if left to their own devices.


Brogeland would have been very poorly placed on a diamond lead, but who leads his own suit nowadays? The spade eight traveled around to the jack, and Boye led a heart to dummy’s 10 and East’s jack. Back came the club queen, and when it held the trick, this was the defense’s last chance to play a diamond through. Alas for the defenders, East cleared the clubs by leading ace and another club, and now an avalanche of hearts finished the defense off. In the four-card ending, East had to keep one club and two spades, and thus only one diamond, so he was squeezed out of his second diamond, which was the only suit in which the defense had any communications.


Brogeland now cashed the diamond ace and exited with a club, throwing East on lead for a spade play away from the king for declarer’s ninth trick. (Notice that Brogeland cannot make the contract if he takes the first club. The same squeeze does not work if East has retained two club guards, since he can pitch a club and keep both his diamonds in the ending.)


South Holds:

A J 5
4 3
Q 9 7 5 2
K 5 2


South West North East
  1 Dbl. Pass
2 Pass 3 Pass
ANSWER: The cue-bid should initially be construed as asking for a club stopper for no-trump. Your partner may have a stronger hand with slam interest, but you do not have to read his mind. Simply answer his query by bidding three no-trump; your partner will let you know his intentions soon enough.


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