Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Watch out when you are getting all you want. Fattening hogs ain’t in luck.

Joel Chandler Harris

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


Against three spades, West leads the heart queen, and South counts the missing high cards. He realizes that East surely has the heart king and therefore West holds the rest of the deck. The trump king and diamond ace are surely working. Declarer can give up one heart trick and eventually trump his last heart with one of dummy’s small trumps, but he needs to avoid losing two club tricks.

South ducks the first trick, wins the next with the heart ace and immediately leads the diamond jack. The idea is to force out the diamond ace and thus establish dummy’s remaining diamonds as winners. When West takes the diamond ace, East follows with a high spot card, warning South of the possible 5-2 break. West continues with the club king. South ducks, and when East discourages, West reverts to diamonds. Now after putting up the diamond king, declarer turns his attention to trumps. The spade king takes the first trump, and West continues with another high diamond spot.

Playing safe, a necessary precaution today, declarer ducks in dummy and ruffs in hand, then draws trumps, ruffs a heart in dummy and finally pitches his club loser on dummy’s diamond queen.

Can you spot the untapped defensive resource, which is considerably easier to find in the postmortem, but maybe one that we should all add to our repertoires? At trick one, East needed to overtake the heart queen, to make sure he could lead clubs through early on in the deal.

Once your partner suggests short hearts, you certainly want to play five diamonds, but you should cuebid five clubs along the way in case slam is a possibility. You will raise four diamonds to five, of course — your values should fit your partner’s perfectly.


♠ J 10 9 4
 7 4
 K Q 4 2
♣ A 8 4
South West North East
    1 Pass
1 ♠ Pass 2 ♣ Pass
3 Pass 3 ♠ 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 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact