Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Every addition to true knowledge is an addition to human power.

Horace Mann

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

*two keycards and the trump queen


In today’s auction North produced a splinter raise to show the values for game with short diamonds, but not necessarily promising slam interest. When South cooperated with a four heart cuebid (perhaps an overbid if the call promised extras) North now felt he had enough to use Keycard Blackwood and drive to slam.

The final contract was far from hopeless after the lead of the diamond king; West followed up with a trump shift. Declarer won in hand with the spade 10, and might simply have settled on the heart finesse. However, following the general and sound principle that if the heart finesse was working at the start of the hand, it would probably be working at the end, South delayed the heart play as long as he could. He ruffed a diamond high, led a spade to the ace, and ruffed a second diamond high.

Next came a club to the king, and the spade queen. When West followed three times, declarer played the club ace and ruffed a club, taking his additional chance that the queen-jack might fall in three rounds.

This did not happen, but by now 11 of West’s cards were known. The best remaining chance was that West had begun with only three clubs, so that East now had sole guard of the suit. Accordingly, South played off the last trump, discarding the heart eight from dummy and squeezed East in the process.

This was an easy position to read: if the club 10 was not high, declarer would play the heart king and ace and the heart six would win trick 13.

The three club call is forcing for one round but may be based on interest in game or slam. You don’t have to make the decision for partner as to which he has, but you can show a splinter in diamonds by jumping to four diamonds now. Your failure to bid more than two hearts at your second turn has already limited your high cards.


♠ K J 6 3
 K J 8 5
♣ A 10 7 2
South West North East
1 ♣ Pass 1 Pass
2 Pass 3 ♣ 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