Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 20th, 2012

What quiverings in the distance of what light
May not have lured him with high promises,
And then gone down?

Edwin Arlington Robinson

East North
East-West ♠ A Q 7 5 3
 K 2
 Q 6 5
♣ J 8 7
West East
♠ K 9 2
 A Q 6 4 3
 K 7 2
♣ 9 2
♠ 10 6 4
 8 7 5
 J 9 8
♣ 10 6 5 3
♠ J 8
 J 10 9
 A 10 4 3
♣ A K Q 4
South West North East
1♣ 1 1♠ Pass
1 NT* Pass 3 NT All pass



When Poland defeated the U.S, squad in the Mindsports Olympiad four years ago, this was one of the bright spots for America.

In one room Jeff Meckstroth played three no-trump after opening one no-trump, hearing a transfer to spades, and then being offered a choice of games.

Meckstroth put up dummy’s heart king on the low-heart lead, played a club to hand and a spade to the queen, which held. He then cashed the clubs, noting the discard of a spade and a diamond from West. Then came the spade ace, the king dropping from West, who was next thrown in with a heart to be endplayed in diamonds. In the two-card ending, Meckstroth put up the diamond queen when West led the suit and made his game.

In the closed room the auction went as shown, with West’s overcall having indicated at least five hearts.

The attack was a low heart, which declarer, Krzysztof Martens, won in hand and continued with all four club tricks. Bob Hamman, appreciating what would happen in the endgame, made the thoughtful discards of two low diamonds, baring his king. Martens continued with the spade jack, covered by the king and ace. Next came the spade queen, and Martens, like Meckstroth, exited with a heart, expecting that Hamman would then be endplayed in diamonds. But after cashing his hearts, Hamman produced the spade nine: one down.

With a marginal hand over a pre-empt, you should tend to act with shortness and pass with length. While you would overcall one spade over one club, I'm not sure I would bid two spades over a weak two diamonds, and for sure I feel I'm a spade or a top honor short of bidding over a three-club pre-empt in direct seat. I might balance with this hand — but that's another story!


♠ A Q 7 5 3
 K 2
 Q 6 5
♣ J 8 7
South West North East

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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact