Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, January 6th, 2020


jim2January 20th, 2020 at 3:17 pm

I think I would have decided the risk that West held eight clubs was small enough to duck the opening lead.

The hand seems to play well that hurdle is successfully met.

A V Ramana RaoJanuary 20th, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But once heart K appeared from east, south wins and establishes diamonds immediately leading low from hand
Winning in dummy can lead another diamond. If West cashes club and continues, dummy can ruff low and irrespective of what east does, he is restricted to just one more trick

Bobby WolffJanuary 20th, 2020 at 5:47 pm

Hi Jim2 & AVRR,

Like what was once said, though no doubt gross, “There are many different ways to skin a cat” and you two have come up with different successful ways to get it done.

Now, if Jim2 does not mind his head hurting, will anyone dare even attempt to establish which one is better (or best, since there figures to be at least more, since cats are thought to be able to live nine lives.

From a cursory glance, the winning themes all appear about the same, except of course the column theme, where the West’s surprising length in diamonds did the declarer in and, the good news, perhaps saved the cat, which in turn might have helped to eventually allow the invention of the scan, named in its honor for what must have been for some reason, TBD.

David WarheitJanuary 20th, 2020 at 8:05 pm

Minor point: given W’s opening lead, you can be almost certain that he has a singleton trump. Why? Well, given his opening pre-empt, he almost certainly has a singleton somewhere, so the only reason not to lead it is because it is a trump. Had the opponents been playing 6H, now he would just lead as he did, even with a nontrump singleton.

Bobby WolffJanuary 21st, 2020 at 1:34 am

Hi David,

By speaking to the logic of that theory, espoused years ago by many of the top players of that era, it, in many or most areas still applies. However, since preempts NV (especially, but not always when the opponents are, which is thought of as favorable) have loosened to some solid 6 carders, missing the ace, but even so when his distribution is 6-4-2-1, but, depending on the specific overall bidding, it is often quite questionable to willy-nilly lead a singleton, instead of the king of the preempted suit, not supported by partner.

However I appreciate you mentioning that overall logic, which, at least to me, is still valuable, but not as overwhelming as before.