Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.

Winston Churchill

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


In today's deal South was looking at a complex hand when he heard his partner jump to two no-trump to show the minors. On the plus side for defense he had a void in one of his partner's two suits, and additionally he had the ace and king of hearts in a suit where he knew his partner was likely to be short. As against that, the vulnerability was right to try to push the opponents around, and he did have a big fit for diamonds. That was enough to tempt him to jump all the way to game. West doubled, and found the incisive lead of ace and another trump. (Had he not done so, declarer would have developed the play on crossruff lines and collected 12 tricks if he judged the play well.)

After the repeated trump leads, declarer has only 10 top tricks (two hearts, one spade and seven trumps) because of the bad heart break. Can you see what declarer should do to overcome this defense?

Declarer won the second trump on board and immediately passed the heart 10 around to West’s jack. West tried the club king next, but declarer ruffed and cashed the heart ace and king, throwing clubs from dummy.

Next came the heart nine for a ruffing finesse against West’s queen. West could cover, but declarer’s remaining hearts in hand were good. Declarer had established the extra heart winner for his 11th trick.

When partner responds one spade to one heart, you are encouraged to raise to two spades with three trumps and a ruffing value –so long as that call looks more appropriate than a one-no-trump rebid. Here, with useful stoppers in both minors and with weak spades, the one-no-trump call looks more descriptive. Interchange the diamond ace and spade jack, and I'd raise spades.


♠ J 9 6
 Q J 7 6 4
 A 6
♣ K Q 7
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 2013. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact