Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 29th, 2013

Logic must take care of itself.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

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


The opposition bidding frequently leads declarer toward the winning line. In today’s deal, however, although that should have been the case, the best play was only discovered in the post mortem.

Against three no-trump West led a low spade to the 10 and queen, and now with six top tricks, declarer hoped that hearts, via a 3-3 break, might furnish the other three. A heart to the jack lost to the ace and back came a spade, removing declarer’s last stopper in that suit. When hearts proved to be 4-2, South cashed the club ace then entered dummy with the diamond ace and ran the club 10. It lost, and the spade return saw the speedy demise of the game.

In view of East’s opening bid, South was unlucky to find the club queen offside. But, unless East’s opening bid was an out-and-out psyche, declarer could have guaranteed the contract by entering dummy with the diamond ace and leading the heart four toward his queen. If East rises with the ace, declarer has three heart tricks, to bring the trick count up to the requisite nine.

And if East plays low, the queen wins, and declarer can turn his attention to clubs, where four tricks are always available by playing low to the 10. (Although at pairs, cashing the ace and king would give you a shot at 10 tricks if the queen lies singleton or doubleton, that play would not cater for a 5-1 or 6-0 break.)

At any form of scoring I would recommend a double here. This suggests extra defense, but does not stop your partner from removing to three spades with an unsuitable hand for defending. Imagine your partner with nothing more than the club ace-king and you surely have five top tricks!


♠ 7 4 3
 K J 4
 A 9 7 6 3
♣ 10 4
South West North East
1♠ 2
2♠ Pass Pass 3

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