Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 8th, 2019

When I consider how my life is spent, I hardly ever repent.

Ogden Nash

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


On today’s hand, an unorthodox (many would use a stronger term, with five cards in the other major) weak jump overcall from West propelled North-South into a dicey five clubs, not that the no-trump game would have fared any better. North started with a negative double, then tried to right-side three no-trump. South showed his extras and fifth club with a jump to game, but North had nothing more to say.

Declarer won the spade lead in dummy and drew trumps in three rounds, ending on the table. A heart followed, East swooping in with the ace to cash the spade jack before returning a passive heart.

South now decided not to play for a red-suit squeeze on East. Given that West apparently had six spades and one club, he therefore had to hold a fourth heart or three diamonds.

Instead, declarer discarded diamonds on the heart queen-jack and, when everyone followed, East was marked with diamond length. West must hold either the queen-jack doubleton or a singleton honor for the game to stand a chance, but which?

Aiming to get a count on the hand, declarer ruffed dummy’s last heart. When East showed out, declarer now needed to find West with a singleton diamond honor. When it appeared on the diamond ace, he tabled his cards, taking the marked diamond finesse.

A neat discovery play — while a singleton honor is more likely than the doubleton queen-jack, why guess when you can be sure of the answer?

There are many misapprehensions about the unusual two-no-trump call. Do not wait for the perfect hand; if you have decent suits, get in there — especially when (as here) the lower suit is stronger. With the minors switched, I could understand overcalling two diamonds to make sure you played the better trump suit facing equal length.


♠ 10 2
 K 10 9 6 3
♣ A K Q 9 5
South West North East

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