Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Man is an embodied paradox, a bundle of contradictions.

Charles Caleb Colton

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


In today's deal it is fairly safe for West to compete against two spades (even when vulnerable), and he should make a second takeout double to prevent his opponents from stealing an easy partscore. North-South should press on to three spades over three diamonds for the same reason. After that, it is reasonable for East either to try to defeat three spades, or to take one more push himself. The vulnerability may persuade him to pass at pairs; and indeed, in four diamonds he would be doubled and set 200.

Against three spades West leads three rounds of hearts. With the diamond ace and club king marked in the West hand, South should envision an endplay that will guarantee his contract. He should draw trump, then eliminate West’s remaining heart by ruffing the last heart from dummy in the closed hand and should then lead toward the club queen.

West cannot rise with the king or South will be able to discard one of dummy’s diamonds on the fourth round of clubs. If South is allowed to win the club queen in dummy, he then leads another club and passes the lead to West, who is then hopelessly endplayed. (West’s best defense is to follow with the club nine or club 10 on the first round of the suit. His hope is that East will have the club eight and will therefore be able to prevent the throw-in. As the cards lie, however, this defense does not quite work.)

You have plenty of high cards, but when your partner can only make a simple raise to two spades, you are surely high enough. Any club finesse rates to be wrong, your heart queen looks valueless, and so game is surely going to be against the odds. Therefore pass and try to go plus, though you may be obliged to bid three spades in the face of further competition.


♠ A J 9 4 2
 Q 9
 K 5
♣ A J 8 4
South West North East
1♣ Pass 1
1♠ 2 2♠ 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