Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, August 14th, 2017

I don’t want anyone to look to me, not for protection, not for happiness, not for love, not for anything.

P. D. James

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


It is almost always right to reopen the bidding when dealer opens and the auction dies on the first round. If the opponents belonged in game, they would surely not have stopped at the one level. The hand almost surely belongs to you, or the limit of the deal is a partscore for the opponents.

In any event, South has plenty in hand for his reopening action today. When North shows a high card raise of spades, South bids game. He may not make it, but he might as well bid it and find out the hard way.

After leading a top heart, West shifts to the club queen. Now South is threatened with the loss of a heart, a club, and two diamonds. What can be done to avoid that?

Declarer must try to establish one of dummy’s hearts as the 10th trick; but it will need a little defensive assistance. Declarer ducks the club queen, and now to set the game East must overtake and shift to diamonds. When, instead, he encourages on the queen, South wins the next club and ruffs a club. Then he draws trump ending in dummy, and leads the heart 10, throwing away a sure loser in diamonds.

West can win, but is endplayed. He does best to lead a low heart, forcing declarer to guess whether to put up the nine. South should do so: not only might East have acted with as few as four or five points, he would surely have covered the heart 10 on the second round, to set the game.

Since your partner can hardly have more than a five- or six- count and pass throughout, your chances of setting the game are limited. Are you going to lead diamonds and play partner for a card in that suit – when a low diamond might be best – or lead a club honor and hope to find partner with length there? I vote for a low diamond at pairs, the club jack at teams.


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