Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

James Shirley

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


In today’s deal six spades would have been an excellent contract had North held the spade 10, so that South could maneuver a club ruff without risk, or if the opponents had not bid clubs, so that the chance of an over-ruff in clubs was not almost guaranteed.

At the table South won the club lead and gave up on trying to ruff a club, since even if West had only two spades and South drew two rounds before giving up a club, East could play a third spade himself; and if West had the outstanding trump this line would lead to immediate defeat.

Instead declarer drew all the trumps at once, and was pleased to see East following three times. That marked him with 10 black cards and made it almost a sure thing that West would have sole control of the red suits.

Next South cashed the diamond queen, king and ace, throwing a club from his hand. Then came the key move of leading the losing club to East, to rectify the count.

East took the trick and exited in hearts. South won the heart king, cashed the two remaining top spades, and in the process reduced the hand to a two-card ending. As the last trump was led, dummy had the doubleton heart ace and a diamond, and West was forced to discard his diamond winner or come down to only one heart. When he opted for the latter, South pitched the diamond from dummy and scored trick 13 with the heart seven.

Your first thoughts should be to try to reach no-trump from your partner’s hand, so cuebid two spades, which initially focuses on the danger suit. If your partner has a stopper, he will bid no-trump, if not he will make a natural rebid.


♠ 7 3 2
 A 5 3 2
 A K 6 2
♣ A 10
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♣ 1 ♠
Dbl. 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