Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

When restraint and courtesy are added to strength, the latter becomes irresistible.

Mahatma Gandhi

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


When South opens a strong no-trump, North has enough to raise to game. His strong six-card suit makes this worth much more than a typical nine-count.

From a bare suit headed by the J-10 it would be reasonable for West to lead a low spade, but the presence of the nine make the lead of the honor correct here.

South should win in hand (preserving a possible re-entry to the diamonds) and should lead the diamond jack, on which East has a problem. But when dummy comes down, East should be immediately aware that there is no apparent entry to dummy outside the diamond suit. Do not waste your time while declarer plans the play; think now!

East should be able to work out that if South has only two diamonds, he can prevent the diamond suit coming into play, by DUCKING the first diamond. South will probably repeat the diamond finesse, and you can spoil his day by winning your carefully concealed diamond king.

Be careful! The hand is not over yet. If you make the mistake of playing back a heart now, declarer can recover by running your lead to his 10, and all of a sudden dummy comes back to life. Instead, shift to the club eight, (showing no interest in the suit) and when your partner wins the trick he should revert to spades, leading back the spade 10. Even if declarer works out to duck your partner’s 10, you still beat the contract by winning the next spade and reverting to clubs.

New suits in response to weak twos are natural and forcing, so you cannot pass. Rebidding your own suit is regressive and denies a fit for hearts, so does not feel right here. Maybe it is sensible to rebid two spades, which should not guarantee a four-card suit, but is just bidding where you live. You can raise hearts at your next turn.


♠ Q 8 4
 10 7
 A Q 10 7 4 2
♣ 6 5
South West North East
2 Pass 2 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