Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 2nd, 2017

The unexamined life is not worth living.


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


When you open two clubs and rebid two no-trump you show a balanced 22-24 HCP. This is not forcing, but North has enough to raise to three no-trump today.

When the defenders lead the diamond king you duck, and see East follow with the diamond three – the defenders play that the king asks for count, so you should assume East has one or three diamonds. How will you plan the play?

One possibility is to take every finesse in sight, but you can do better than that if you can endplay West to lead suits to your advantage. It is tempting to try to do that by throwing him in with diamonds; but you do not know for sure who has the diamond 10.

A better alternative might be to duck the first two diamonds, and win the third, cash the club ace, then the three top hearts, and lead to the club jack. If West follows with the queen on the second round you might consider ducking this. In practice, though, West rates to follow low, and you finesse, cash the king of clubs, and exit with the fourth club to West. That player can cash his long diamond, the defenders’ fourth trick, but in the two-card ending he will have to lead away from his spade king, to give you your ninth trick.

Two points to note: maybe if West did have the doubleton club queen he should unblock the queen under the ace – easier said than done! And as the cards lie, maybe West could find the false-card in clubs on the second round?

There is no need to bid two clubs, the highest ranking suit, since if partner wants to bid a major at the one level, this may easily be the least expensive resting place. There will be plenty of time to reconsider this decision, but the opponents may take you off the hook.


♠ 7 5 2
 9 7 2
 9 4 2
♣ K J 7 6
South West North East
Pass 1 Dbl. Rdbl.

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