Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, May 25th, 2017

Six months’ oblivion amounts to newspaper death, and resurrection is rare.

Henry Brooks Adams

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


I noted with regret the death of Albert Dormer, who was for many years the bridge correspondent of The Times of London. Playing with Alan Hiron – the then correspondent of the Independent Newspaper — they won the World Senior Pairs Championship in Geneva in 1990.

Albert was for many years the editor of the International Bridge Press Association, and worked with Jimmy Ortiz-Patino, helping to run his bridge-related activities.

Dormer sat East on today’s deal, and made no mistake in defense to four spades. West led the heart ace to the three, eight and king and continued with a second heart. Declarer won on the table and led a trump to West’s ace. West was still uncomfortable with the idea of opening up either of the minor suits, so pressed on with a third round of hearts, expecting Dormer to ruff and kill any possible discard on the heart 10. Farsightedly, though, Dormer did not ruff, instead discarding a club. Now declarer had no resource. He could throw a club as well, but any attempt to cross-ruff would fail, while leading another trump would allow the defenders to play a third round. Now there would be only one club ruff available in dummy.

At the other table, after a similar start to the play, East happily trumped in on the third round of hearts. Declarer over-ruffed, and now had no trouble with playing the cross-ruff, losing only to the king of trumps.

Avert your eyes all readers of delicate sensibility. Partner could easily have set spades or clubs as trump by raising those suits. This is a quantitative sequence, suggesting a balanced 14-15 or so, and in the context of your last call having suggested extras in shape or high cards, you have nothing in hand. So pass, unless playing with someone who never bids four no-trump except to ask for aces.


♠ Q J 9 6 4
 K J
♣ A K J 9 3
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 2 Pass
3 ♣ Pass 4 NT 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