Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 18th, 2013

His small eyes glistened like a maddened boar.
And as he walked, the boards creaked; as he walked,
A song of menace rumbled.

Edgar Lee Masters

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


With the spring national championships currently taking place in St Louis, Mo., this week’s deals all come from last year’s championships in Memphis.

Sometimes you need the cards to lie just so to give yourself a chance to make your contract. And when they do, the satisfaction for you (plus the irritation caused to your opponents) is all the more. Today’s deal provides just such an example.

Nobody did anything too outrageous in the bidding, but four hearts was an uncomfortable contract for North-South. When West led a low club (suggesting a five-card suit in her methods), East decided to win and shift to a trump, reasonably assuming her heart queen was a dead duck. Notice that the club spots would have allowed South to set up the club eight for an extra winner had East played either her high or low club. Declarer won the trump in hand, ruffed a club, ducked a spade around to West, then won the trump return in hand and ruffed a second club. At this point East was out of clubs, so declarer could next play the spade king to force East to win. Since that player had no clubs to lead, she could do no better than play her low spade. This allowed declarer to ruff, then draw the last trump, and run the diamonds for four tricks.

In the end South scored six trump tricks (four in hand and two ruffs in dummy) plus four diamond winners.

It is hard to look beyond leading the fourth suit when you have length there. A diamond may not work, but since nothing else looks attractive, you might as well lead from the suit where you know that your partner probably has a reasonable holding.


♠ Q 7 2
 K 10 2
 J 9 7 3
♣ 9 7 2
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1
Pass 1♠ Pass 1 NT
All 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