Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Art is a human activity having for its purpose the transmission to others of the highest and best feelings to which men have risen.

Leo Tolstoy

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



In today’s deal from a recent knockout match in England, North-South got too high, but it still required good carding to maximize the defensive trump tricks — the theme of all this week’s deals.

South thought he was facing a mild invitation to game, so he bid on. West doubled because he had trump tricks; he led out the club queen, then the jack.

Declarer could mark West with four hearts to the queen for his double, with East presumably holding the black top cards. Leading a low trump at trick three would limit his trump losers to one, but West would take the heart queen and play a third club to force declarer down to trump parity. Declarer could then draw trumps and run the diamonds, but would no longer be able to set up a spade for his 10th trick while East still had the spade ace and the master club.

So declarer had to knock out East’s spade ace, the entry to the long club, at once. He could not cross to the diamond ace, since that was dummy’s late entry to the diamonds, so he led the spade king from hand, hoping for a club continuation, which would have seen him home.

However, East could see that a further club lead would be no good, so he changed tack. Looking to promote a trump trick for his partner, he returned a spade.

Declarer took the spade queen and led a low heart toward dummy, but West took his queen and forced dummy to ruff with a third spade, promoting his heart 10 to the setting trick.

Your partner’s double should be take-out showing values, presumably with no more than two spades and two or three diamonds. Since he did not overcall one heart, he must have at least four clubs, so it seems right to bid three clubs now.


♠ A 10 5 4 3
 J 4 3
♣ A K 6 3
South West North East
  1 Pass 1
1 ♠ 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 2019. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact