Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 24th, 2019

We’re all leading lives that are different and yet the same.

Anne Frank

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


On today’s deal from the 2014 European Team Championships in Croatia, the final contract was the same in each room, but the outcomes were very different.

Both Norths drove their partners to game in hearts, and each West led a low diamond. Easts Gabor Winkler for Hungary and Vladimir Mihov for Bulgaria both won with the king and switched to a club honor.

Mihov led the club 10 to the queen, king and ace. Declarer cashed the spade king, ruffed a diamond and threw a club loser on the spade ace. Next, he ruffed a spade, before conceding a club to Mihov’s jack. South ruffed the diamond return, ruffed a club and led a heart to the queen. When Julian Stefanov (West) won with the king and returned a heart to the ace, declarer was left with a diamond loser and was one down for minus 50.

In the other room, Winkler switched to the club jack, and declarer Georgi Mihailov withheld his queen. He won with the ace, cashed the spade king, ruffed a diamond, and cashed the spade ace, pitching a club from dummy. Next came a spade ruff, a diamond ruff, and another spade. When West produced the 13th spade, Mihailov discarded dummy’s last club rather than risking an over-ruff.

East also threw a club, and West led the club king, which declarer ruffed. When Mihailov took the losing heart finesse, he could ruff the club return with the jack and cross to the heart ace. The 2-2 trump split meant that he could cash the spade 10 for his game-going trick, and a big swing to Bulgaria.

You had too little to bid two hearts on the previous round, and now with such a bad suit and little chance of a fit, you seem to have too much to pass but nowhere to go. Giving false preference to two spades on a singleton would be too rich for me, though admittedly it does give partner a chance to go on with the perfect hand. I’d pass two clubs and proffer my apologies along with the dummy.


♠ K
 J 6 5 4 2
 10 9 5 3
♣ A 9 2
South West North East
    1 ♠ Pass
1 NT Pass 2 ♣ 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