Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Oh I get by with a little help from my friends…

Lennon and McCartney

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


I apologize in advance for this personal set of deals this week from last year's Senior Trials, but most of them show my teammates in a good light rather than me.

Here is one example. In this deal I played three no-trump after introducing my clubs as a passed hand. I received the lead of the heart five and decided to rise with the ace in case East won the heart king and shifted to a spade, which I thought could set up too many winners for the defenders.

I cashed the diamond ace at trick two to find exceedingly bad news. Hoping for the best, I ran the club queen, which held, then led out the diamond 10 to West’s queen. Back came a heart to West’s king, and the defenders cleared hearts, leaving me with just eight tricks. Although there was no legitimate play for nine tricks, this looked like a depressing result, but fortunately I had teammates to help me out.

In the other room South opened three clubs and North used Blackwood, driving to slam. East, Arnie Fisher, found a Lightner double for the diamond lead, and South (in need of a swing) redoubled. West, Fred Hamilton obediently led a diamond, and Fisher ruffed and returned a trump. Declarer went up with the ace and cleared the trumps, but still had to lose a trick in the majors for a penalty of 1000 and a gain for our team of 14 IMPs.

This is a minimum for a game-forcing jump-shift to two spades, showing five-plus diamonds and four spades. With a singleton heart and doubleton club, I might take the pessimistic decision to rebid one spade. But as it is, I think the jump to two spades gets the whole hand off my chest at one go — never a bad idea.


♠ A 10 6 2
 A 9
 A K J 10 5 4
♣ Q
South West North East
1 Pass 1 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