Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, December 7th, 2017

Acting is an illusion, as much an illusion as magic. It’s the ability to dream on cue.

Sir Ralph Richardson

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

*Artificial relay


Today’s deal presents a series of possibly attractive lines. See how many different ways you might set about playing six spades on the lead of the club jack.

Simplest and probably worst is to rely on diamonds breaking by drawing trumps and playing the ace, king and a third diamond.

Another possibility is to duck a diamond, draw two rounds of trumps and now play on diamonds, hoping the same hand that is long in diamonds also has the long trump.

Better still might be to draw trumps and duck a diamond, hoping for a club-diamond squeeze if the same hand is long in both suits, since you can isolate the club menace by ruffing out the suit.

And finally, you might play for a dummy reversal, taking three ruffs in your own hand and drawing trumps with dummy’s high spades. Win the club king, take the diamond ace, spade ace and jack, and then take the diamond king (before the rats get at it), followed by ruffing a club high. Then play a heart to dummy, to ruff the fourth club, and lead a heart to dummy to ruff another heart with your last trump. You have taken the first 11 tricks, and dummy still has the master trump, so you are assured of your 12th trick. All that you need for this line to succeed is that neither defender has a singleton club, heart or diamond, so I’d estimate this line is probably around 90 percent — surely the best line here.

You have enough points to consider driving to game, but a jump to three diamonds somewhat overstates your shape, while raising to two no-trump may lose the diamond fit. Perhaps a reasonable middle course is to bid two diamonds, hoping that the auction does not end here, but planning to bid two no-trump after partner shows preference for two spades.


♠ A K J 9 3
 8 2
 A K 9 4
♣ K 3
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 1 NT 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