Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, December 14th, 2017

I don’t have pet peeves like some people. I have whole kennels of irritation.

Whoopi Goldberg

E North
Both ♠ A K Q 3
 Q 3
 Q 4
♣ A K J 10 8
West East
♠ 10 4
 7 4
 A K J 10 9 8 5
♣ 9 3
♠ J 9 8 7 6
 K J 9
♣ 7 6 5 2
♠ 5 2
 A 10 8 6 5 2
 7 6 3
♣ Q 4
South West North East
Pass 3 Dbl. Pass
3 Pass 4 ♣ Pass
4 All pass    


In this deal from my local club game, North was contemplating opening two clubs when he was irritated to hear West (playing with one of the less simpatico members of the club) open three diamonds in front of him.

That didn’t leave him much else to do but double and hope that partner did not insist on playing hearts. The worst happened when South bid and rebid hearts, and North had no option but to pass and pray.

West led out his two top diamonds and continued with the suit at trick three. Prospects were not good for declarer at this point, but ruffing low or discarding looked hopeless, so he ruffed the third heart with dummy’s queen and was over-ruffed with the king.

Suddenly South sensed light at the end of the tunnel. He won the club return in dummy and finessed the heart 10 successfully. When the remaining trumps fell under the ace, he was safely home.

North would not normally have done more than congratulate his partner, but given his opponents, he saw the opportunity to insert the needle, by remarking how unusual it was to have 28 HCP and no game makeable. When East remarked acerbically that South had made game, North smiled and said that just because game had made did not mean it should have. Do you see why?

If East discards on the heart queen and splits his honors on the first round of trumps, he ensures two trump tricks for his side and defeats the contract.

Brace yourself: This hand is an absolute minimum for a two-spade call, but you should still make that bid. Your ruffing value and honor in spades mean that you are offering partner something that will surely be useful while denying the opponents some space. So gird your loins and enter the fray!


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

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