Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 20th, 2017

I see the better way and I approve it; I follow the worse.


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


Today’s deal from last year’s Gold Coast Congress from Brisbane was compared to a Euclid theorem. Get it right and the world would be your oyster. Get it wrong and you might be told to find a different game…

At one table East thought he had a one diamond opener and that kept his opponents out of the marginal game — they climbed only to two spades, while three no-trump in the other room came home in comfort.

But in the reporter’s featured match, both tables reached four spades. One table did not put up much of a fight by leading the club six. The other room gave declarer a real challenge on the auction shown. After East has opened a weak two or three in diamonds, your task is to bring home the game on the lead of the diamond jack followed by two further rounds of diamonds.

It is all too easy when I give it to you as a problem – I hope. Simply discard a heart loser on the third diamond, then win the heart return and ruff a heart, finesse in spades, and draw trump. At this point the only remaining challenge is to negotiate the clubs. Since you now know East began with six diamonds and only three major-suit cards, he must have four clubs. So you should finesse against East and rack up your game.

Would you like to speculate on how many pairs out of 35 made four spades on the lead of the diamond jack? Would you believe only nine? Maybe the deal is harder than I realized.

Your partner rates to be relatively short in diamonds but chose not to act. I’d guess he has a balanced 8-10 count, and he surely does not have five spades, so leading spades looks as if it will set up the suit for the opponents, and get you ruffs with trump tricks. The choice is between clubs and hearts, and I vote for clubs.


♠ 9
 9 7 5 2
 A J 6 2
♣ J 4 3 2
South West North East
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 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact