Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, July 2nd, 2016

Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.

J. M. Barrie

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


Against four spades, reached after a slightly aggressive jump raise by North, West leads the diamond jack, covered by the queen and king. What is your plan to make 10 tricks?

The contract requires some friendly breaks. The black suits must break 3-2, and it also requires that the defenders cannot promote a trump by playing on diamonds. The full deal needs to be similar to the layout here.

After winning the diamond ace, if you cross to table to with a trump and lead a club to the king, you will fail in your contract whenever West has the ace, because the defense of repeated red-suit leads will leave you without enough entries to establish the clubs.

A better plan is to rely on clubs being 3-2 and simply to lead a low club out of your hand at trick two. On this layout East will win the trick with the 10 and cash his side’s diamond trick. After trumping the red-suit continuation, ruff a club with dummy’s 10. Then cross back to hand with the queen of spades to ruff a second club with the king, thereby establishing the club suit.

Now play dummy’s last trump to your ace, to run the club suit. West can take his nine of trumps whenever he likes, but that will be his side’s last defensive trick. All you will lose is a trump, a diamond and a club. You managed to create a trump loser, but saved yourself two entries to hand in the process.

Just because you only have a nine-count you don’t have to go low with a raise to two spades. Your partner could easily have enough for game and not have rebid more than one spade. Your diamond fit is golden. If partner had opened one club, as in today’s deal, a simple raise to two spades would suffice here.


♠ K J 10 5
 Q J 4 3
 Q 5 3 2
♣ 5
South West North East
  Pass 1 Pass
1 Pass 1 ♠ 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