Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, February 21st, 2020


A V Ramana RaoMarch 6th, 2020 at 5:43 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But perhaps South had a simpler play which need not entail a defensive error. He wins heart K and noticing the fall of Q which is a certain Singleton, leads a heart back to J in dummy. East wins and does best by returning a diamond but south wins, leads low club and it does not matter what West does. South reaches dummy with club for taking a diamond pitch on spade and leads heart and makes ten tricks due to the presence of all important nine of hearts in hand

A V Ramana RaoMarch 6th, 2020 at 6:03 pm

Sorry but if east returns a spade after winning heart K , south had to revert to the elopement plan hoping that West holds club A. He takes diamond pitch and ruffs a spade, cashes both diamonds and leads club K and again a defensive error nets ten tricks
Sorry for the gaffe of missing this analysis in earlier post

bobbywolffMarch 6th, 2020 at 7:20 pm


Thanks for the keen analysis (you meant East winning declarer’s play of a small one to the jack in dummy with his heart ace, not the king), but then, and at that later time in the hand, perhaps the defensive error of a premature take of the club ace would not have occurred. Reason being that West would have then known the layout of the hearts, allowing declarer to almost certainly possessing the club queen instead of the (at least) possibility of not.

One of the bridge frontiers crossed on the way to being really good (as you no doubt are well aware) is the accurate visualization of who has what key cards, especially later in the hand when more information (including this example) is gleaned and by its nature does often apply to both the offense and the defense.

In this case, even the possibility that South is leading an unsupported king sometimes works its magic (West immediately winning) in coaxing the defense astray.

Finally, our game lends itself to proper analysis, much easier when looking at all four hands, instead of, while at the table and seeing declarer lead a heart to the king, likely causing West to think that he also possessed the ace, but possibly not the club queen.

Thanks again for your post, conjuring up this type of discussion so that newer players (some, but not all) can both understand and thus feel the sometimes difficulty of guessing their way (on this hand) to the ultimate successful defense.