Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, I’m still, I’m still Jenny from the block.

Jennifer Lopez et al

S North
Both ♠ A Q J 10 9 8
 6 3 2
♣ K 10 5
West East
♠ 6 4
 A J 8 7 5
 9 7
♣ J 9 6 3
♠ K 7 5 2
 Q 10 9
 J 6 5
♣ 8 7 4
♠ 3
 K 4
 K Q 10 8 4 3 2
♣ A Q 2
South West North East
1 1 1 ♠ 2
3 Pass 3 Pass
3 NT Pass 4 NT Pass
6 All pass    


In today’s deal from a Cavendish pairs tournament 15 years ago, Bob Hamman did very well in the auction and Zia Mahmood did equally well in the play.

Hamman’s quantitative four no-trump gave Zia the chance to opt for slam in diamonds, and after a club lead, Zia put in the 10. Then he cashed the diamond ace, came to hand in clubs, and drew trump.

Now he knew West, Geir Helgemo, had the heart ace and the club jack, so East was a favorite to hold the spade king. (Zia could also see that if this were the case, six no-trump would go down). So Zia cashed the spade ace and ran the queen, to make 13 tricks.

On the same deal, George Jacobs found a very nice play here to defeat the slam, when given a chance by declarer. Norberto Bocchi reached six diamonds on an unopposed sequence and received a club lead from Jacobs.

Bocchi won it in hand and played a spade to the ace, ruffed a spade, then played a diamond to the ace, ruffed a spade with the diamond 10, and cashed the diamond king-queen.

At this point he led a club toward dummy, intending to insert the 10 to create an extra dummy entry to finish ruffing out the spades and then cash them. But Jacobs crossed him up by inserting the club jack to block the suit, and deny declarer the extra entry he required.

Now Bocchi needed the heart finesse — and when it failed, he was set one trick.

Are you worth bidding on to three clubs in competition? This is not a simple question to answer, since my instincts tell me it is right to bid but partner will hope for, or even expect, more. I will bid three clubs, but I’m certainly conflicted about it.


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

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