Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, May 28th, 2018

You touch on a disheartening truth. People never want to be told anything they do not believe already.

James Branch Cabell

E North
None ♠ 6 4 2
 K 8 7
 K J 6
♣ 8 6 5 2
West East
♠ K 9 8 5 3
 3 2
 10 9 8 3
♣ 10 9
♠ Q J 10
 Q 6 4
 A Q 7 5
♣ Q 7 3
♠ A 7
 A J 10 9 5
 4 2
♣ A K J 4
South West North East
1 1 ♠ 2 Dbl.
4 All pass    


In today’s deal from a club duplicate, declarer based his line of play on his opinion about his opponents’ propensity to tell the truth in the carding.

Declaring four hearts, South covered the lead of the diamond 10 with the jack. East won the diamond queen and immediately shifted to the spade queen.

Declarer read this as a true card and inferred that West must hold the spade king, and also that East could not be overly long in diamonds, or he might have considered giving his partner a ruff.

Thus East rated to be relatively balanced, and probably held the rest of the high cards, given his opening bid. Because of the delicate entry position to dummy, South won the spade ace, then thoughtfully led the heart jack to the king.

Now he could pass the heart eight; when it held, he was still in dummy, and in position to lead a club to the jack. He could then draw trumps and cash out the clubs for 10 tricks.

Notice that if you lead a low heart to the king, you cannot take both the club and heart finesses; you will need to find one or the other queen doubleton, but today you are not in luck.

On a slightly different lie of the cards, if West had passed throughout and East had shifted to the spade king at trick two, East would have been marked with 11 points in spades and diamonds. In such a case, you might play West for the heart queen, since you would need East to have the club queen. Of course, East would not have a balanced 15-count, or he would have opened one no-trump.

Partner did not double the two-spade cue-bid, so there is an argument that he is not loaded for bear in spades. I would lead a heart, since dummy surely doesn’t have length there, or he might have bid two hearts rather than two spades, and declarer didn’t make a negative double. Thus, you have a decent chance to find your partner with heart length or an honor.


♠ 3
 A J 7 6 4
 9 8 3
♣ J 10 6 4
South West North East
  1 ♣ 1 ♠ 2
Pass 2 ♠ Pass 2 NT
Pass 3 NT All 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 2018. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact


Bill CubleyJune 12th, 2018 at 8:36 pm

My best wishes to Judy. Try a sit down dinner instead of a buffet unless she has a clear preference. Annual trip to Gettysburg this weekend. Free drinks Friday night. Free buffet dinner/dessert/drinks and a party Saturday. Better than some Hospitality Rooms at Regionals.

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