Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 10th, 2019

It is said that God is always on the side of the bigger battalions.


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

*Three key-cards

**Trump queen and club king


After South doubles two hearts, then bids spades to show a good hand, North uses Keycard Blackwood, then asks for the trump queen (finding it and the club king).

In six spades, South takes the heart king lead in dummy and, protecting against an adverse trump split, begins to elope with his small trumps. A heart ruff is followed by the three top spades, West showing out on the second round. Declarer, pleased to have made good use of his heart entry, leads a diamond to the king and ruffs another heart. East should not have more than three hearts after West’s vulnerable weak two, coupled with the odd count signal at trick one. On this assumption, declarer has a lock for his contract.

He cashes the diamond ace; if West discards, East will be marked with a 4=3=5=1 pattern, and declarer will cash the club king, then take a club finesse to avoid setting up East’s long diamond. As it is, though, everyone follows to the diamond.

Accordingly, declarer continues with the diamond queen, putting East in an impossible position. If he ruffs with his master trump, he will be forced to lead into dummy’s club tenace. East can discard a club, which would suffice if declarer had begun with only three diamonds. But today this only delays the inevitable. On the next diamond, East is faced with a similar dilemma. Either he ruffs and leads a club, or he discards again and lets declarer collect two club tricks for his contract.

The three-heart call suggests a weak hand with reasonably long hearts, making it straightforward enough to bid three no-trump, since you have the fourth suit guarded and no fit for your partner. Whether or not you can make three no-trump, no other game looks appealing.


♠ A K Q 5 2
 A Q J 2
♣ K 5 3
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 1 NT 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