Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, December 15th, 2017

You can find in a text whatever you bring, if you will stand between it and the mirror of your imagination. You may not see your ears, but they will be there.

Mark Twain

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


In today’s deal from the Wildwoods Club, each of the Three Bears tried, but only one succeeded, in bringing home a contract of three no-trump. When they came home, Goldilocks got to hear the full story from each of them.

On the lead of the spade jack, all the Souths ducked in dummy. Each East took their king and returned a spade, won by South, but now the play diverged.

Papa Bear opted for simplicity when he played the ace and another club. When the suit failed to break, he cleared the clubs, but he did not have nine winners before the defenders could get in with their red aces and cash the spades.

Mama Bear saw a little more into the hand when she tested clubs. When they didn’t break, she tried diamonds, leading the king from dummy. West correctly ducked the king, then won the queen and thoughtfully shifted to the heart jack, which was ducked around to declarer. Declarer was now locked in hand and had to lose two hearts, two diamonds and a spade.

Baby Bear combined his chances effectively. He led a diamond to dummy at trick three, then a club to hand and a second diamond, unblocking dummy’s honor under the ace. West cleared spades, and only now did declarer test clubs. When they failed to behave, he led a heart to his hand and played his diamond winner. Then he endplayed East with a diamond to give him a second heart trick. That was declarer’s ninth winner.

This auction is forcing: You may have a minimum (or even subminimum) hand, but you have spade support. So raise to three spades without a qualm. I could imagine producing a splinter raise to four clubs if my heart four were the ace, or even perhaps the king.


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