Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done… you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.

Lil Wayne

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

*promising values


In today’s deal, both tables in a team game reached three no-trump after West had preempted at unfavorable vulnerability. In one case South closed his eyes and jumped to three no-trump at his first turn, in the other case when North showed some values with a constructive call of three clubs, South converted to three no-trump. (Had North been weaker he could have used an extension of the Lebensohl convention by bidding two no-trump as a puppet to three clubs.)

The declarer who had followed the direct route in the auction won the first heart lead, unblocked clubs, then crossed to the diamond ace to try to run clubs. When that line failed, so did his contract.

In the other room South thoughtfully ducked the first two hearts as West led out the heart king, queen then jack, suggesting suit preference for spades. South pitched a spade from dummy on the third heart. Meanwhile, East did the best he could for his side by also discarding spades.

Declarer then advanced the club queen, followed by the club king. When West followed on the second round with the 10 declarer decided that since West had six hearts and East one, clubs were far more likely to be 4-2 initially than 3-3. Additionally the fall of the 10 was much more likely to be from a doubleton than J-10-7. So he overtook the club king with the ace and led out the nine, losing the trick to East, but setting up his ninth top winner in the process.

You have enough values to drive to game, but should it be the 5-3 (or 5-4) club fit or the 5-2 spade fit? I suggest you temporize with a call of three diamonds, planning to raise spades, or play clubs if partner rebids the suit. And if partner makes the unlikely rebid of three no-trump, you should probably pass.


♠ 6 3
 8 6
 A 7 5 3
♣ A 9 8 5 4
South West North East
    1 ♠ Pass
1 NT Pass 2 Pass
2 ♠ Pass 3 ♣ 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