Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 19th, 2015

Good instincts usually tell you what you do long before your head has figured it out.

Michael Burke

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



Today’s deal saw West give declarer something of a roadmap home in his three no-trump contract. The defenders did have an outside chance to defeat the game, but it was one that was easier to spot in the post mortem than at the table.

Against the no-trump game West was playing attitude leads, whereby the smaller the card led the more he liked his side’s chances in that suit. So he led the spade seven, and East encouraged as dummy’s ace won. Declarer now played the ace and king of clubs, West discarding a heart, and next tried a low diamond from dummy, which went to the five, seven and nine. West now returned the spade six to East’s king, and South won the third spade and cashed his master club.

West was squeezed out of a spade on this trick, since he could not throw a diamond or a heart, so declarer played two more rounds of diamonds. West had a spade to cash, but declarer had the rest, since the diamonds were now established.

To defeat the contract East had to work out from the auction and the size of the spade led to trick one that his partner had jack-fifth of spades. Had he ducked the second spade, declarer’s best bet would have been to win and exit in spades. But the defense should still prevail – so long as they do not cash out the spades, or West once again gets squeezed in the red suits in the ending.

Your partner’s call is non-forcing, and though you have decent club support and the odd value or two, your majorsuit honors are of questionable worth, and three small diamonds is surely a further negative. Pass two clubs, and hope the opponents do not balance. You might raise to three clubs if you had the heart ace instead of the king – and slightly better diamond spots.


♠ Q 10 8
 K 9 8
 9 7 4
♣ K 6 5 2
South West North East
  Pass 1 Pass
1 NT 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 2015. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact