Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

The living need charity more than the dead.

Sir Edwin Arnold

E North
None ♠ A 9 8 2
 K 6 3
 7 6
♣ K J 9 2
West East
♠ 7
 J 10 9 4
 9 8 3 2
♣ A 8 7 5
♠ K 5 3
 Q 8 5
 A 10 5 4
♣ Q 6 3
♠ Q J 10 6 4
 A 7 2
 K Q J
♣ 10 4
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 2 ♣ Pass
2 ♠ Pass 3 ♠ Pass
4 ♠ All pass    


All the deals this week come from Frank Stewart’s new book, “Play Bridge with Me,” for which all the profits will be going to local charities.

Stewart opens one spade in second seat and when North responds two clubs (not forcing to game), he rebids two spades then raises an invitational three spades to four.

West leads the heart jack, and Stewart sees that he is off a diamond, a heart, a possible trump, and at least one club trick. Setting up a diamond winner to discard a heart loser from dummy is essential. Declarer cannot afford an early trump finesse, since if East took the king, a heart return would be fatal.

So Stewart wins the opening lead in dummy, saving the heart ace as an entry, and leads a diamond. East takes the second diamond and returns a heart. Stewart wins, cashes the diamond jack, pitching dummy’s last heart. Now he can take the losing trump finesse and win the spade return. The contract now hinges on the club guess. Luckily, there is enough information to eliminate the guess. Can you see why?

East, who passed as dealer, has shown the spade king, heart queen and diamond ace, so West must have the club ace. Stewart can lead a club to the king and lose only three tricks in all, scoring up his game.

As Stewart says, counting the losers, will indicate the necessity of delaying drawing trump in order to set up the critical discard. Going right in clubs is then a simple matter of counting to 13.

This is close to an opening bid in strength, and many would boost themselves to four spades without a second thought. I’d prefer a slower approach. Since I raise happily with three trump a more cautious call would be three clubs. This is ostensibly a game-try suggesting club length. Let’s find out just a little more about partner’s hand. Two no-trump is also a sensible call now.


♠ A 9 8 2
 K 6 3
 7 6
♣ K J 9 2
South West North East
  Pass 1 Pass
1 ♠ 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