Bobby Wolff
Bobby Wolff

Wikipedia: Robert S. (Bobby) Wolff (born October 14, 1932, San Antonio, Texas) is an American bridge player, writer, and administrator. He is the only person to win world championships in five different categories. 

Wolff was an original member of the Dallas Aces team, which was formed in 1968 to compete against the Italian Blue Team which was dominant at the time. The Aces were successful and won their first world championship in 1970. Wolff has won 11 world championships, over 30 North American championships, and was the president of World Bridge Federation (WBF) 1992–1994, and served as president of American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) 1987. He is the author of a tell-all on bridge chronicling 60 years on the scene, entitled The Lone Wolff, published by Master Point Press. His column, The Aces on Bridge has been appearing daily for over 32 years, is syndicated by United Feature Syndicate in more than 130 newspapers worldwide and is available online two weeks in arrears.

IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul

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

“The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye, the more light you pour upon it, the more it ill contract” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

West leads theJ. Plan the play?

Some players are bigots about their finesses. You’ll never find them refusing a finesse it one is handy. Often their prejudices will cost a game or slam.

The finesser loses little time with this layout. He wins hisQ and leads a club to dummy’s queen for a losing finesse. East exits with a heart and South now tries to set up the clubs, but West’s discard announces the bad news. South then misguesses theQ and the slam goes down one amid the usual declarations about bad luck.

A much better way to play the clubs is to refuse to finesse on the first round. Instead, declarer leads a club to dummy’s ace and comes off dummy with a low club. East must duck and South’sJ wins. With the club position revealed, South takes a losing spade finesse into the non-danger hand and winds up with 12 tricks without ever losing a club trick.

What if West held the stack in clubs?

It would have been even easier. South would lead a club to the ace as before, and a club back to his jack and West’s10 would be trapped by dummy’sQ-9 and the slam would be made with a proven finesse.

SAFETY PLAY:

A way of handling a suit combination to give the greatest chance of required number of tricks in the suit at expense of abandoning the possibility og gaining extra tricks. Source: The Bridge Player’s Dictionary by Randall Baron.

The full deal:

K 10 5
A 6 4
K J
A Q 9 6 2
Q 8 7
J 10 9 7 2
7 6 4 2
7
6 3 2
8 5 3
8 5 3
K 10 8 4
A J 9 4
K Q
A Q 10 9
J 5 3

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