Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, June 25th, 2016

What! Wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?

William Shakespeare

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


Today’s deal from the qualifying segment of the European Senior Teams saw two nice endplays. In one case North declared four spades. On the lead of the heart three, declarer Gunnar Elmroth jumped up with the ace and continued with the heart queen, taking a successful ruffing finesse to discard a club. The heart jack followed, and West ducked again so declarer’s last club was discarded. East ruffed in and switched to a diamond, letting West win the diamond king and try to cash the club ace. Declarer ruffed, played a trump to the queen, and ruffed a club. Then he cashed the spade ace to discover he had a sure trump loser. When he crossed to dummy with a diamond to the ace and led a diamond from dummy, West could only discard. Declarer took his queen to play another diamond, throwing West in to collect two tricks from the spade tenace. Contract made.

In the other room David Kendrick received the club king lead against four hearts. A trump went round to declarer’s nine, who then cashed the heart ace and played the queen, putting West back on lead with the king. West cashed the club ace and returned his last club to declarer’s queen.

Kendrick next cashed the diamond ace and ran all his hearts, and the last trump squeezed West in spades and diamonds. When that player kept the diamond king, declarer could simply overtake the spade queen with the king to claim his 10 tricks for a push. West had needed to play back a spade earlier on to break up declarer’s squeeze.

Traditionally the response of two no-trump to a weak two bid asks for features, and while an ace or king is the desirable holding, queen-fourth (or even queen-third) will do at a pinch. You have enough to drive to game, of course, but who is to say where partner is heading? Don’t cross him up by jumping to game, when slam might be in the picture: bid three diamonds.


♠ A K 10 8 7 6
 Q 6 5 3
♣ 10 9
South West North East
2 ♠ Pass 2 NT 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 2016. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact