Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Most writers regard the truth as their most valuable possession, and therefore are most economical in its use.

Mark Twain

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


Too many competent players boast that they have never read a bridge book in their lives. As someone who works as a writer, I am always surprised at how many basic positions are missed by players who might have encountered that very position in a book. A little learning may be a dangerous thing, but zero learning tends to work even worse.

In today’s deal, South offered a choice of games at the four-level, and North’s return to four spades ended the auction. West led the diamond jack, and South tried to make East’s task as hard as he could when he put up the king.

East won and shifted to a club, hoping somewhat optimistically that his side could take two club tricks, and that West would turn up with a winner in one of the major suits as well.

West won with his ace and returned a club, but it was to no avail. Dummy’s queen was covered by the king and ruffed. When West got in with his spade king, there was no hope for the defense — declarer was in complete control.

East should have reasoned that West was likely to hold four trumps. Instead of leading back the club six, he might have tried broaching clubs by leading the king. Then the defenders would have been in business. Declarer is immediately shortened in trumps on the second round of clubs (which he has to ruff). When West gets in with the spade king, West can force him again by leading the club ace, to ensure a second trump trick for his side.

Did you pass, grateful to be taken off the hook? That would be a very cowardly attitude. This hand is full value for a two-club call. Partner asked you to bid, and you have a reasonable suit and decent values. There is no reason not to dive into the auction to compete the part-score.


♠ 4 3 2
 10 5
 K 8 7
♣ Q J 8 3 2
South West North East
Pass 1 ♠ Dbl. 1 NT

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