Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, December 14th, 2015

Rejoice, O young man, in your youth.

Ecclesiastes, the Bible

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


While the ACBL has an active junior bridge program, Silicon Valley Youth Bridge (SiVY Bridge), co-founded by Debbie Rosenberg, is one of the most successful youth bridge programs in the US right now. Recently, SiVY Bridge held two week-long Summer Camps and the SiVY Youth NABC Sponsorship program helped 14 Bay Area kids attend the Youth NABC in Chicago. For more information, check out their website.

The other night one of my correspondents had the pleasure of playing a team match on BBO against two camp participants, brothers Brent and Rory Xiao, aged 14 and 11 respectively. They’ve clearly been excelling in SiVY Bridge (as well as the USBF Junior training program) because they played very well throughout the match. Here declarer Rory Xiao played three no-trump on the lead of the club nine to the ace.

East accurately shifted to a low heart, to the queen. Back came a heart to the king, also ducked. Now came a third heart, won by South with a diamond discard from dummy.

Rory cashed the club kingjack, led a diamond to the ace, then took the club queen, squeezing East out of a spade, since he had to preserve the diamond king and his fourth heart (or declarer would set up a diamond winner). With East down to just three spades, Rory took the spade finesse and cashed out the suit for nine tricks.

Note that if declarer takes the heart ace prematurely, East can defeat the game by discarding a blocking heart on the fourth club.

Nothing is attractive here, of course, but my best guess would be to lead from my heart fragment. Declarer rates to have four or more cards in both hearts or clubs, but when picking between those two suits it feels better to lead from length rather than shortness, and hope for the best.


♠ 10 8 6 4
 J 7 3
 A 9 6 4
♣ J 7
South West North East
Pass 1 ♠ Pass 1 NT
Pass 2 Pass 2 NT
All 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