Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, September 27th, 2018

Nothing is more indisputable than the existence of our senses.

Jean d’Alembert

N North
None ♠ K J 5
 Q 9 4
 K 6 4
♣ A 10 7 4
West East
♠ 10 6 4 2
 7 5 2
 Q 10 5 2
♣ 9 5
♠ 7
 K J 10 8 6 3
 9 7
♣ J 8 3 2
♠ A Q 9 8 3
 A J 8 3
♣ K Q 6
South West North East
    1 ♣ 2
2 ♠ Pass 3 ♠ Pass
4 ♣ Pass 4 Pass
4 NT Pass 5 * Pass
6 ♠ All pass    

*Two key-cards no trump queen


Upon hearing East’s weak jump overcall in hearts and learning of North’s spade support, South drove to slam in spades after using Key-card Blackwood.

West led a third-highest heart two, confirming that hearts were indeed 3=6. After winning his ace, declarer drew four rounds of trumps, throwing a low heart from table. Meanwhile, East also discarded hearts. Next, declarer cashed the club king and queen, then led a club toward the table. West had to throw a heart, or else declarer would simply set up a long diamond for his 12th trick.

At this point, declarer could count West for an original 4=3=4=2 shape, with one heart and four diamonds remaining. So he ruffed a heart, then played a diamond to the king and a low diamond toward his hand, intending to cover East’s card cheaply. When East produced the nine, South inserted the jack. West took this with the queen but then had to lead from the diamond 10 into declarer’s ace-eight tenace.

Note that if West had followed to the first three clubs, with the jack not having put in an appearance, declarer would have risen with the ace. If East had produced the club jack, declarer would have cashed the 10, then taken the diamond finesse for the overtrick. If West turned up with jack-fourth of clubs, then his original distribution would have been 4=3=2=4. Now declarer would ensure three diamond tricks by cashing the ace and king before leading a low diamond toward his jack-eight.

The question is whether to blast three no-trump here or take a slower route. With no four-card major and a positional diamond stopper, I would bid three no-trump directly. That gets my values across, and while it doesn’t prevent partner from bidding on, he will only do so with real extras or unusual shape.


♠ K J 5
 Q 9 4
 K 6 4
♣ A 10 7 4
South West North East
  2 Dbl. 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

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