Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

As long as you know that most men are like children, you know everything.

Coco Chanel

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


In today’s deal, one declarer identified a line for his contract that required either a 3-3 split or one of two finesses to be successful — pretty good odds in abstract, though not a sure thing. His counterpart did better, though.

South’s jump to three spades showed a good suit, but did not guarantee a solid suit. After Key-card Blackwood revealed that the trump queen was missing, South settled for the small slam.

Declarer took the diamond lead in dummy and immediately finessed in spades. He won the diamond return in hand, then played the ace and king of hearts and ruffed a heart. As that suit failed to break 3-3, South was forced to use his last entry to dummy to take the ill-fated club finesse. He doubtless thought himself unlucky to have gone down.

In the other room, though, Christian Mari was at the helm. As befits a multiple world champion, he was not inclined to rely on chance.

He took the opening diamond lead in hand and cashed the top trumps, then continued with the heart ace and king and a heart ruff. Unperturbed by the 4-2 break, he simply drove out the trump queen and could win the diamond return in dummy with the ace. That let him ruff another heart to establish the suit, and finally a diamond to the queen allowed him to pitch his losing clubs on dummy’s hearts.

Even if East had held the spade queen and had been able to shift to a club, declarer would have risen with the ace and continued as described.

Despite your extra values you have no guarantee you can make game, or that hearts will play better than no-trump. I’d raise to two no-trump as the least committal way forward, with my second choice a jump to three hearts. If you play two clubs as artificial rather than natural, it would come into consideration too.


♠ 6 4
 A K 7 6 4 2
 A Q 3
♣ J 2
South West North East
      1 ♣
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 2018. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact


Bill CubleyOctober 3rd, 2018 at 2:06 pm

Is the quote about me or current politics? 😉

bobbywolffOctober 3rd, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Hi Bill,

It is up to each male himself, to determine his answer, but likely to the brighter and well balanced children, if true, they may consider themselves insulted.

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