Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Double your pleasure, double your fun.

Wrigley’s Doublemint commercial

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


If it is satisfying to make a contract on an endplay, then declarer on this deal from nearly 50 years ago must have really enjoyed himself.

South reached three no-trump after a weak two-spade opening from West, who did well on lead, in a sense, to avoid opening up the spades. Unfortunately for him, his choice of a low diamond was even less successful. Declarer was able to duck in dummy, and when East put up the king, it lost to the ace. Declarer played back a diamond, to the 10 and queen, and a third diamond went to West’s jack. Now West switched to his singleton heart, and South won the ace and played a club to the jack and king. West exited with a club, and declarer took his ace and played off his master diamond to reach a six-card ending in which West was known to be down to his six spades.

When declarer led a low spade from his hand, West was forced to win and exit with a low spade, the first endplay. South cashed both his spade winners, to produce a three-card ending in which East was compelled to retain two hearts and thus the bare club queen.

At this point declarer returned the favor to East, exiting with a club to endplay him. He was compelled to lead a heart and concede the last two tricks when declarer ran the lead around to dummy’s jack.

In just the same way that everyone uses a response of two no-trump to a weak-two as an inquiry with at least game interest, so here the two-no-trump call is looking for game. I think bidding a feature makes sense here, so I would bid three clubs, but I could understand using the inquiry as asking for a singleton. In that case you would bid three hearts now.


♠ K Q 8 7 6 4
 J 10 5 2
♣ K 4
South West North East
2♠ Pass 2 NT 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


Shantanu RastogiJune 25th, 2013 at 9:47 am

Hello Mr Wolff

In BWTA can 2 NT reponses be according to Ougust convention which enables North to figure out a very weak pre-empt ? I find Ougust convention very useful on weak 2 level openings.

best regards

Shantanu Rastogi

Bobby WolffJune 25th, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Hi Shantanu,

Yes, it is possible to play Ogust 2NT responses to preemptive jump overcalls, just as we do after weak two bids have been opened, but since the frequency of such situations is far less than having such a strong hand, once an opponent has opened the bidding, the normal conventions played instead better fit the type hands which often occur.

While 2NT could easily be considered forcing in response to preemptive jump overcalls, it is normally natural and suggesting NT with the opponents suit well stopped and usually only searching out whether 3NT or 4 of partner’s major suit is the best game.

Remember, when partner has merely opened a weak two bid, with the opponents silent, even a possible slam is in the picture, so that those Ogust responses may also include reaching them, something which almost never happens once an opponent sees fit to open a one bid.