Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

Oscar Wilde

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


A fine bidding sequence propelled South into seven spades here, against which West led the club king. Declarer could count 12 tricks: six trumps, three diamonds, two hearts and a club. There are three possibilities for the 13th trick. One is setting up the heart suit, or East could hold a singleton heart honor, so that West can be finessed for the other. Finally there might be a squeeze on West. For the squeeze to operate, West needed to hold the club queen – likely given the lead – plus both the heart queen and jack. South decided to play for the more likely chance of hearts breaking no worse than 4-2.

As the only way to reach the long heart, should that suit break 4-2, is with a trump, trump needed to break no worse than 3-1. But care had to be taken in setting up the hearts, in case they lay as they did, with West being able to overruff South.

After capturing the club-king lead in dummy, declarer cashed the diamond king and queen and the heart ace — no heart honor appearing from East. Next came a trump to dummy, then the diamond ace, on which South discarded the heart six. Then a low heart was ruffed low in hand, and another trump to dummy allowed a second heart ruff – this time with the ace.

A spade to dummy, collecting West’s last trump in the process, was followed by the heart king and 10, on which South’s two losing clubs departed.

Your partner's double is takeout, but a pass by you here might suggest that you were happy with defending. You cannot risk that; bid two diamonds rather than two hearts because you know RHO has heart length and because partner might have bid a major suit rather than doubling at his second turn.


♠ 4
 Q 9 8 4
 10 6 5 3
♣ 7 6 4 2
South West North East
1♣ 1♠ Dbl.
Pass 2♣ Dbl. Rdbl.

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