Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s.

New Testament


S North
Both ♠ K 6 5
 7 4 3
 A K J 6 2
♣ Q J
West East
♠ J 9 8 4
 A K 10 2
 8 5
♣ K 7 6
♠ 2
 J 9 8 6
 9 7 3
♣ 10 9 4 3 2
South
♠ A Q 10 7 3
 Q 5
 Q 10 4
♣ A 8 5
South West North East
1 ♠ Pass 2 Pass
2 ♠ Pass 4 ♠ All pass
       

K

At pairs overtricks and undertricks are your bread and butter, but at teams and rubber they tend to fall by the wayside.

In today’s deal from the Dyspeptics Club, South sensibly chose to rebid two spades rather than two no-trump, though had his red suits been switched he might have gone the other way.

Against four spades West cashed his hearts then led a third heart, ruffed by declarer in hand. Declarer continued with the spade ace and a spade to the king, East showing out. South next set about diamonds, but West ruffed the third round and accurately returned his last trump. Stuck in his hand, declarer had to lose a club trick, and with it, and the contract

When South looked around for sympathy he was faced with North’s grim visage. Wisely perhaps, South did not tempt fate seeking support for the line he had chosen. Can you see why North was upset?

Declarer was playing for an overtrick by his handling of the trumps. If East had held the spade length, he could have picked up the suit without loss. But South should have focused on making 10 tricks and the way to do that is to cash the ace and queen of spades. If they split 3-2, draw the last trump then play on diamonds for two club discards.

But when as here, South run into length on his left, he leaves the spade king in dummy and start running diamonds. West will ruff the third round, but declarer will have the spade king as an entry to the winning diamonds.


Your honors may not be pulling their full weight, but there is no reason to assume that West must hold both the missing club honors. Start by cuebidding two clubs, and even if your partner signs off, you will be worth at least one further try for game.

BID WITH THE ACES

♠ K 6 5
 7 4 3
 A K J 6 2
♣ Q J
South West North East
  1 ♣ 1 ♠ Pass
?      

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact theLoneWolff@bridgeblogging.com. If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog.
Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2017. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact reprints@unitedmedia.com.


2 Comments

David WarheitApril 30th, 2017 at 2:12 am

Interesting problem at pairs. If E has 4 spades, S’s line is best; if W has 4 spades, the suggested line is best. If spades are 3-2, both lines make 5. So, which to choose? I think the suggested line is best, because there is a chance that not everybody will be in 4S (5D and 3N are possible).

bobby wolffApril 30th, 2017 at 5:05 am

Hi David,

You did your usual job of careful, accurate, but ultra-quick analysis.

My guess that with so many tournament players (especially in the ACBL) playing five card major suit openings one can eliminate 5 diamonds as a chosen contract, but not 3NT since while playing 14+or 15-17 1NT openings it well could go 1NT P 3NT and then it will depend on the defense.

Consequently, like you said, I agree with the column line.