Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Between good sense and good taste there is the same difference as between cause and effect.

Jean de la Bruyere

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

* Promising values


Today's deal comes from the women's event in last year's Scandinavian bridge championships. Against three no-trump Cecilia Rimstedt led her heart queen, ignoring her partner's suit and focusing on her own — a very good decision today. When her partner had the king and unblocked it under declarer's ace, the suit was already set up for the defenders. Trine Dahl tried to steal the club trick she needed at trick two by running the club 10. But Rimstedt won the jack and quickly took her tricks for down one.

That was 10 IMPs to Sweden when the Swedish pair at the other table scored 10 tricks after a spade lead.

Of course declarer should duck the first heart, but let’s come back to the deal and compare the line followed by Pekka Viitasalo of Finland. Against him the heart queen was led, and he ducked the trick. East unblocked the king to win the trick and continue the attack on hearts. Pekka won the second heart with the ace, played a diamond to the ace, and led a low club toward dummy, intending to finesse if West followed low. When West inserted the jack, he called for the ace from dummy, then cashed his diamonds and the spade ace. Now he exited with a small heart to West, who could cash his two heart winners but then had to lead into declarer’s club tenace and concede the ninth trick.

Bid three hearts to suggest a hand at the low end of your response range with a heart suit prepared to play in that strain facing a doubleton. Your hand rates to be useless to your partner at no-trump unless you can establish hearts, but it is worth about four tricks if hearts are trump.


♠ 4
 Q J 10 9 3
 9 5 4 2
♣ Q J 6
South West North East
1♠ Pass
1 NT Pass 2 NT 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