Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Dealer: East

Vul: Neither


A Q 6 5

10 9 7 3


A 9 3


10 8 7 2


10 4

J 7 6 5 4 2



K Q J 8 6 4

J 8 7 6

Q 10


K J 4 3

A 5

Q 9 5 3 2

K 8


South West North East
Dbl. Pass 3 Pass
3 Pass 5 Pass
6 All Pass    

Opening Lead: Heart Two

“We ne’er can be

Made happy by compulsion.”

— Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In today’s deal your partner’s jump to five spades is specifically looking for a control in the danger suit, hearts. Had one of you cue-bid hearts to show a control there, a jump to five spades would have asked about trump. Here, with the heart ace, you can simply bid slam if minimum, or cue-bid hearts to suggest first-round control with extras and interest in a grand slam.


On West’s lead of a singleton heart, the only real danger is a bad trump break or a very bad diamond break. After winning the heart ace, which trump honors should you play? The answer is that you must cash dummy’s spade ace and queen, then after unblocking the diamond honors, you can cross to hand with a club, should trumps not have broken, and lead a low diamond from hand.


If West, the hand long in spades, has three or four diamonds, you simply ruff, come back to hand while drawing the last trump, then run the diamonds and concede trick 13. If West has only two diamonds, what can he do? If he discards, you ruff in dummy and make the same 12 tricks as in the previous line. If he ruffs high, you pitch a heart from dummy, then arrange to regain the lead, draw the last trump, and pitch both of dummy’s remaining hearts on your two winning diamonds. You can now ruff your last heart in dummy for your 12th trick.


South Holds:

K J 4 3
A 5
Q 9 5 3 2
K 8


South West North East
1 Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 2 Pass
ANSWER: The bid of two clubs is the fourth suit, setting up a game-forcing auction and asking you to describe your hand further. With a weak diamond suit and only two hearts, you do not want to emphasize either of those features in your hand. Better is to bid two no-trump; partner will have room to repeat his hearts or show support for one of your suits now — if he wants to.


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