Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Both thou and I alike, my Bacchic urn,
From clay are sprung, and must to clay return ….

Richard Garnett

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


Today's deal comes from the teams finals at the Asia Pacific Games last summer in Fukuoka, Japan. In one room South got to bid and rebid spades and was eventually doubled in two spades. When West led a heart, declarer won in hand and took an immediate diamond finesse to pitch the club loser, then played a trump to the nine, 10 and jack. Declarer ruffed the diamond return, ducked a trump, then left trumps alone, playing on the side-suits. He lost four spades and two clubs for down one and minus 200.

In one spade doubled, played in the other room, declarer plowed a different furrow. He won the heart lead, crossed to the diamond ace and heart queen to ruff two diamonds in hand, then exited with a club; West put up the king and returned a club. West could subsequently ruff a heart and lead a fourth diamond, ruffed by his partner with the spade ace, while declarer pitched his last club loser. In the four-card ending, East could lead a plain card while declarer had spade Q-10- 8-6 left in hand and West held K-J-7 of trumps and a diamond. West overruffed the spade eight with the jack and played his last diamond for East to ruff with the spade nine. This forced declarer to overruff, and now the spade K-7 took the last two tricks.

The maneuvers in the trump suit included five ruffs, an overruff and an uppercut — all for no swing!

Your partner's double is takeout, specifically suggesting either four spades (or a moderate five-card suit) together with enough high-card values to own the board. Because he rates to have 10-plus HCP, you should jump to two spades, either to give your side a chance to get to game facing extras, or to try to take bidding space away from the opponents if it is their hand.


♠ K J 7 5
 10 5
 K J 8 6 3
♣ K 5
South West North East
1 1 Dbl. 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


Patrick CheuOctober 3rd, 2013 at 6:24 am

Hi Bobby, did East double in the other room,if so,would you pass with the West hand?Do not think I would bid 2S with South after 1S,given the unfav.vul..regards~Patrick.

Bobby WolffOctober 3rd, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Hi Patrick,

Yes and yes.

I do not go much into, and never did, trying to penalize aggressive opponents at low part score levels, but since my partner East, bid 1NT over his LHO’s 1 spade overcall and now doubles, inviting me to make the next mistake, I will try not to, by defending with my potent spade holding, instead of other not inviting alternatives.

I also wholeheartedly agree with South not rebidding that mangy suit of his, being vulnerable and no support from his partner.

Aggressive opponents tend to continue to be so, unless they become aware that their adversaries will only go so far before they start fighting fire with fire.

Thanks for the pertinent questions which should be filed under competitive judgment at the table and why.