Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

The difference between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant.

Salvador Dali

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


When Bobby Goldman died suddenly, 20 years ago, he and Paul Soloway had been one of the dominant partnerships in the US for many years. Today’s deal exemplifies his talents.

At the Macallan Invitation Pairs tournament in the United Kingdom you would expect the top 16 pairs in the world to generate the occasional spectacular play, but in its own way I think the following example is outstanding. The play is typical of the brilliancies that the analysts might suggest in the post mortem, but on this occasion Goldman found the play at the table.

When Christian Mari of France reached three no-trump as South, he ducked the opening heart lead and continuation, and won the third round. Since he assumed that East was favorite to hold the diamond ace, he decided he needed to try to play the club suit for five tricks. This would require finding West with the singleton jack. So he went over to dummy with a spade and led the club queen, covered by the club king and ace, under which Bobby Goldman obediently contributed the club jack!

You can hardly blame Mari for crossing to dummy with a second spade to repeat the club finesse, can you? When Goldman produced the nine and played a third round of spades, he had succeeded in setting up the 13th spade as the defense’s fifth winner, before declarer had established the diamond suit for his own ninth trick.

The false-card had gained the critical tempo to set the game.

Your partner’s double is responsive – it applies after the raise of opener’s suit but not after a new suit bid by your LHO. It is for take-out, but the double of a heart call tends to deny spades, since your partner would bid them if he had them. You should simply bid your cheaper, not stronger, minor. So bid three clubs.


♠ A Q 5
 8 5
 K Q 8 3
♣ Q 8 6 4
South West North East
Dbl. 2 Dbl. 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