Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, December 1st, 2018

Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to stay in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.

Lewis Carroll

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


At both tables in a local teams match, South declared three no-trump, and each West led a fourth-highest spade, the two. The first declarer took the trick with the spade king and played the ace, king and another diamond. West won the trick with the diamond 10 and cashed the diamond queen, East discarding a low heart and a low club.

Declarer took West’s exit of the spade queen with the king, then cashed the club queen, ace and king. Next, he led the heart two toward his hand. East played low, and declarer’s heart queen won the trick. Alas, with only king-six-four of hearts left, declarer was endplayed to lead hearts from his hand, and he lost the last three tricks to finish down one.

At the other table, declarer counted seven top tricks, with another available in hearts. He judged that the best chance of making the contract was to play West for the heart jack.

Accordingly, this declarer ducked the first trick, won the second spade and led a low heart at trick two. West rose with the heart jack and played the spade queen. Declarer took this with the ace and continued with the heart six. Dummy’s 10 forced East’s ace and declarer claimed nine tricks: two spades, two hearts, two diamonds and three clubs.

Had the first heart lost to East’s jack, he would not have had a spade to lead, and at worst declarer would have been able to use his club entry to dummy to pick up an original ace-jack-third of hearts in East.

Partner has shown four spades and no great slam interest. It seems obvious to bid four spades, but might you risk four diamonds as implicitly agreeing spades and a diamond cue-bid? It depends on how smart you think your partner is! Maybe a call of four spades can avoid disaster if what is obvious to you isn’t so crystal-clear to him.


♠ A K 6 4
 K Q 7 4
 A K 8
♣ Q 8
South West North East
2 NT Pass 3 ♣ Pass
3 Pass 3 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

1 Comment

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