Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 25th, 2019

One of my Polish acquaintances said that Russian letters look like small chairs. On these chairs sit the apostles of Russian literature. Some of these chairs turned out to be electric.

Victor Erofeyev

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


**Three or four spades


All this week’s deals come from the 2018 McConnell Cup. In the round robin, Anna Gulevich and Tatiana Dikhnova defeated four spades here.

Declarer took the heart lead in dummy to try a club to the king and ace. She won the next heart and pitched her heart loser on the top club. A winning line now is to ruff out clubs, but declarer quite reasonably led a diamond to the king, ducked by East.

It might be best now to cross to the spade ace and lead a second diamond to the queen. When East wins, she will return a heart. Declarer ruffs in dummy, ruffs a diamond, ruffs a club, and ruffs dummy’s fourth diamond with the spade nine. This loses when (in the deal shown) the spade queen and 10 are switched, but is otherwise fairly safe.

At the table, though, declarer chose to cash both top spades before leading a second diamond. Now East could win and play her last spade, leaving dummy with two diamond losers for down one.

In the seniors event, Bart Bramley, West, and Kit Woolsey, East, also defended four spades on a heart lead. Declarer dislodged the club ace, and Bramley won and played a diamond to the king and ace, for a second heart back. Declarer won, took his discard, then crossed to the diamond queen to ruff a diamond. He then cashed the spade ace and went back to dummy with a heart ruff to ruff the fourth diamond. Bramley over-ruffed and led the fourth heart to promote Woolsey‘s spade 10 for down one.

Raising partner’s suit is generally a good idea, even when we have a more descriptive bid available. By rebidding one no-trump, we describe our strength and shape, but this could turn out to be the wrong part-score, possibly the wrong way up. Not much can go wrong by raising to two spades; if the auction suddenly becomes competitive, it will work well.


♠ A 9 8
 K 9 5
 3 2
♣ K Q 9 8 3
South West North East
1 ♣ Pass 1 ♠ 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