Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 28th, 2014

Our life is frittered away by detail… simplify, simplify.

Henry David Thoreau

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


**Short spades, without four hearts


The second placed team in one of the major national events from last spring nationals at St. Louis, wrote ruefully about the one that got away. As the writer indicated, no one likes to lose an event by one victory point. Had his team got this deal right against the eventual winners, it would have swung 16 victory points in their favor, turning a 13-7 loss into a 15-5 win. That would have meant they finished first by a single victory point.

At the writer’s table, the transfer auction had put South as declarer and the play was straightforward. South won the spade lead and ruffed a spade, then cashed two trumps. He followed up with three rounds of diamonds (ruffing the third in hand), ruffed a spade to reach dummy, and then could run the heart 10 and claim his 12 tricks. West was forced either to return a heart into declarer’s tenace, or give a ruff-sluff that would allow the heart loser to be discarded from dummy.

At the other table, Barbara Kasle and Drew Cannell for the victorious Koslove team reached slam, after a different transfer auction, one in which North was declarer, having shown a singleton spade and a diamond control.

Now an initial heart lead would have set the slam and swung 17 IMPs, but after a diamond lead, Cannell duplicated the line of play from the other room, to achieve the same endplay and flatten the board.

You cannot support spades or bid no-trump, so the choice is to temporize with a cuebid or to repeat clubs, or even to raise diamonds. I'd like a minor honor in hearts for the cuebid and raising diamonds should show four, so I'm forced to repeat clubs. At least the spots are good!


♠ 9
 10 9 4
 A K 8
♣ K Q 10 9 5 3
South West North East
1♣ 1 1♠ Pass
2♣ Pass 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 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact