Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Of thee I sing, baby,
You have got that certain thing, baby….

Ira Gershwin

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


There is a lot of talk in the bridge press about the increasing average age of bridge players, and speculation about whether this signals the eventual death of our game. For the past 15 years or so, there has been an international series for Under-20s, and it is to their ranks that we must look for our players of the future.

The USA has been moderately successful in putting out decent teams in the schools categories, and the junior players of a decade ago are rising to the top in national events — but there is still a way to go.

Declarer in today’s deal from the UK was a then 18-year-old Ben Paske, playing with his 16-year-old brother Tom.

Against three no-trump West chose to lead his own heart suit rather than his partner’s spades. (A spade would have been no more successful.) Declarer ducked the first heart and won the continuation. He then tried the club ace and king. When that suit failed to break, marking West with the missing queen, declarer played a diamond to the king, a diamond to his jack and cashed the diamond ace and six.

Now all that was needed was to exit with the spade jack. East won his queen but had only spades left. When he played the spade king, declarer ducked. Now East had no option but to lead another spade, allowing declarer to take the marked finesse for his ninth trick.

This one is a no-brainer. West doubled your partner for takeout, which East converted to a penalty double. How much more unsuitable a dummy could you put down here? Remove to two clubs, and if you are wrong, you can tell your partner that you were playing the percentages with your action.


♠ 2
 6 5 4
 K 9 2
♣ J 9 7 6 3 2
South West North East
1 1♠ Pass
Pass Dbl. Pass 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 2012. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact