Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Dealer: South

Vul: East-West


A 8 4

K 7 5

A 7 4 2

K 9 2


K Q J 6 3


Q 9 8 6 5

Q 6


10 7 5

J 10 6 3

10 3

8 7 4 3


9 2

Q 9 8 4 2


A J 10 5


South West North East
1 2 * 4 All Pass
*Spades and a minor, 5-5 pattern

Opening Lead: Spade King

“To fall into a habit is to begin to cease to be.”

— Miguel de Unamuno

Today’s deal, reported by Tim Bourke of Australia, features Bill Jacobs, declarer in four hearts. If you were South, knowing that West held at least 10 cards in spades and diamonds, wouldn’t you be inclined to play East for the club queen? So would I, but at the table Jacobs found a better approach.


Against four hearts West led the spade king, which Jacobs ducked. He won the spade continuation and ruffed dummy’s last spade to hand, eliminating the suit. Now he led a heart toward the king, won by the ace.


West was endplayed (since a spade would let declarer pitch a club from dummy and ruff clubs in the North hand). West elected to get off play with a diamond. South won his jack, cashed the diamond king, then played three rounds of hearts to East.


At this point, declarer was able to claim the rest. Since West had shown five spades and five diamonds, it was a sure thing that East had nothing left but clubs in the three-card ending and was thus endplayed, forced to open up the clubs for declarer.


It is always entertaining to endplay both of your opponents, even though superior guesswork would also have sufficed. More to the point, it should also aggravate them both — no bad thing to accomplish on a single deal!


South Holds:

9 2
Q 9 8 4 2
A J 10 5


South West North East
    1 Pass
1 3 Pass Pass
ANSWER: Rightly or wrongly, I would not sell out here. I would bid four clubs, knowing that our side must have at least an eight-card fit somewhere and hoping that game might make in either clubs or hearts, remote as that might seem after North’s second-round pass.


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


jim2October 12th, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Good luck in Veldhoven!

(Repeated because including a link to the d’Orsi Bowl sent my earlier well wishing comment into moderation.)

bobby wolffOctober 13th, 2011 at 9:47 am

Hi Jim2,

Judy and I have already arrived in Veldhoven, a small suburb of the larger city, Eindhoven.

Believe it or not, in this large modern businessman’s hotel the only players here so far are a bunch of American BB, Venice Cup and d.Orsi Senior players, making, at least, as far as I am concerned, the American players taking the probability of Jet Lag as important as they should.

Thanks for the well wishes and between BBO and likely Judy’s topical blogs our American supporters may easily keep up with both the results and the reasons, allowing all to better forecast the final positioning.

Good luck to us. In all probability and realizing the conisistent improvement in all categories of world bridge playing involvement, our final finishes will no doubt be, at least, somewhat dependent on it.

Thanks again for your continued necessary support.