Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, February 9th, 2013

Life may change, but it may fly not;
Hope may vanish, but can die not.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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



Against six diamonds West leads the heart queen. As the spade ace will surely be wrong, given West's vulnerable two-suited action, how do you plan to make 12 tricks?

You need to bring pressure to bear on West in the endgame, and the entry position requires you to win the heart queen in hand with the ace, then draw two rounds of trump with the ace and another honor, say the jack. Then you must make the key play of cashing dummy’s three top clubs, throwing a heart from hand. (You need to have the lead in hand as you put West’s feet to the fire.) If you take all your trumps at once, you have to discard prematurely from the North hand. You now settle down to run the rest of the trumps.

After a heart, six trumps, and three clubs have been played, you will have generated a three-card ending in which West will have to reduce to a singleton spade or a singleton heart, while dummy has yet to discard, with two spades and two hearts. If West lets a spade go, throw a heart from dummy and then lead the spade seven to West’s now bare ace; you will take the last two tricks with your major-suit kings. If West pitches a heart instead, he will have only one heart remaining, so throw a spade from dummy and cash the heart king; dummy’s heart six will now be good for your 12th trick.

In this auction it is probably best and certainly simplest to play exactly the same structure after a one-no-trump overcall as you would over a one-no-trump opening. So here the two-diamond call is a transfer to hearts and you should simply complete the transfer. It is not yet against the law to have a maximum for your bid.


♠ 9 4 3 2
 K 6 2
 A J 3
♣ A K Q
South West North East
1 NT Pass 2 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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact