Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, September 7th, 2012

A Dresden shepherdess was one day
Milking a small Delft cow,
When a Sevres Marquis came along —
I saw him smile and bow.

George Hellman

East North
Neither ♠ A K 5 2
 Q 8 2
 K 8 5
♣ J 9 3
West East
♠ Q 9 7
 9 6
 A J 10 7 2
♣ K 10 7
♠ 10 4 3
 5 3
 9 6 4
♣ A Q 5 4 2
♠ J 8 6
 A K J 10 7 4
 Q 3
♣ 8 6
South West North East
1 Pass 1♠ Pass
2 Pass 4 All pass


When the world championships took place in Beijing four years ago, the main event followed the qualifying stages. Here is a sparkling piece of play from Round 16 of that event.

As Mark Horton, a journalist, remarked, one of the delights of Beijing is the opportunity to enjoy its famous Peking duck, but that is not the only dish it offers. This cosmopolitan city ofers a wide range of international cuisine. Poland’s Ewa Harasimowicz conjured up a wonderful dish at the table. It featured a coulis of squeeze, a dash of throw-in garnished with an endplay, the whole thing being stirred with a Morton’s Fork.

Against four hearts West led the club seven. East took the ace and returned the suit, West winning and playing a third round, ruffed by declarer. Knowing that East, who had already showed up with the club ace-queen, was unlikely to have the diamond ace, declarer played a low diamond toward dummy’s king. West could not afford to play the ace or the spade loser would go away. When the diamond king held, declarer settled down to run the trump suit.

In the five-card ending, West had three spades and the ace-jack of diamonds, but had to discard the diamond jack on the last trump. Now declarer could exit with the queen of diamonds to endplay West to lead a spade around to declarer’s jack.

There is no single right answer here (and my suggested answer would get me burned at the stake in 14 states in the United States), but I believe that with only three clubs you should rebid one no-trump, not one spade. If you are facing extras, partner will be able to find a spade fit. If he has limited values, you do not want to make him think you have a shapely hand when you are as balanced as possible.


♠ A K 5 2
 Q 8 2
 K 9 5
♣ J 9 3
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


John Howard GibsonSeptember 21st, 2012 at 4:19 pm

HBJ : A tiny squeeze , a perfectly executed throw in , and the extra trick on inevitable end play…… that’s what I call an education in the art of logical deduction and accomplished declarer play. We can all learn so much from these hands……

bobby wolffSeptember 21st, 2012 at 5:43 pm


Many say Mohammed Ali (aka Cassius Clay) was the greatest. Perhaps he was the greatest boxer. Other, much more experienced and learned boxing experts should and possibly have made that decision.

But for our game of bridge, you are the greatest. Your entire package of enthusiasm, general interest, and positive comments stand alone in convincing everyone within eye or earshot of what you, I, and all of our superlative commentating group know, that the game of bridge, particularly the tournament variety, stands alone at the top.

Thanks for all you do and please never change.