Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

I will not be a common man. I will stir the smooth sands of monotony. I do not crave security. I wish to hazard my soul to opportunity.

Peter O’Toole

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


The German ladies won the women’s world championships in 2001 after a stunning come-from-behind victory against France. But this deal was from their quarter-final victory over USA.

In one room Jill Meyers declared three no-trump and Sabine Auken led a top diamond. Meyers ducked this, won the next diamond, and played the heart king out of her hand, hoping East had one of the top heart honors. A good try, but declarer still had to go down one.

Meanwhile in the other room Andrea Rauscheid declared four hearts. She won the diamond lead and played to ruff a diamond in dummy, then finessed the heart jack.

Irina Levitina won the queen and shifted to spades. Declarer won in hand and exited with a low heart, letting Levitina hop up with her ace, to play a second spade. Rauscheid took this and cut loose with a third spade. What was the defense to do? If East, Lynn Baker, won the trick, a ruff and discard would let Rauscheid pitch a club from hand, while a club lead would obviously be fatal.

So Levitina correctly ruffed her partner’s spade winner. But now, since a diamond would concede a ruff and discard, the best she could do was to lead a low club. Accurately defended, but Rauscheid had been given a minute extra chance in clubs, and she took it, by putting in the eight. That extra chance turned out to be relevant today, since Baker had to play the queen, and that was declarer’s 10th trick.

Your partner’s four club bid should not be a cuebid but instead in a competitive auction it should show the black suits. That gives you an easy four spade call, since all your values are in the right place. Despite your heart length you do not have a defensive trick in that suit. If necessary, you might even contemplate bidding on to five spades.


♠ K 9 3
 10 6 4 2
 7 5
♣ K J 8 6
South West North East
  Pass 1 ♠ Pass
2 ♠ 3 4 ♣ 4

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