Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, February 24th, 2017

The only person who has artistic control is the director, and ‘director’ is how you spell God in Hollywood.

Tom Clancy

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

*two key cards and the trump


There are very few tournament directors currently playing with national titles to their credit. In Australia, Richard Grenside was for many years one of the world’s top directors, because he could understand the players’ problems from an expert’s perspective.

Grenside has largely retired from directing but is still an enthusiastic player. Here he is in action with his wife Sue from last year’s Gold Coast tournament in Brisbane Australia. Incidentally, this is one of the world’s most enjoyable events, combining a great event with a spectacular location for relaxation, eating and drinking.

As is typical in any auction where Richard is bidding, nobody held back, and the consequence was that he reached a grand slam where there appears to be an inevitable loser.

However, in seven spades Grenside won the club ace and played a diamond to dummy’s ace. He ruffed a diamond high in hand and played a spade to dummy. He ruffed another diamond high and entered dummy again with a trump. A third diamond was ruffed with the spade king, Grenside’s last trump. He then crossed to dummy with a heart to the queen, pitching the club loser from his hand on the spade ace. Unsurprisingly, plus 1510 was a big gain for his team.

The play Grenside used is called a Dummy Reversal. By ruffing three times in the long hand and using the short hand to draw trump, Grenside manufactured six trump tricks out of five.

While it might be right to pass, it sounds as if the opponents have located an eight card fit, and partner surely has either five diamonds or at least three clubs. Bid two no-trump, which cannot be natural given your earlier silence, to show the minors. You surely have exactly three diamonds or you would have raised earlier.


♠ 8 7 5
 10 8
 K 10 6
♣ K Q 8 4 3
South West North East
  Pass 1 1 ♠
Pass 2 ♠ Pass 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