Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 18th, 2020


Iain ClimieFebruary 1st, 2020 at 12:16 pm

HI Bobby,

Maddeningly it doesn’t even help South to cash CAK before playing diamonds either – West just riffs the third one and exits with a trump. A partnership break down seems a bit strong though although my earliest serious partnership took a bash when we played in a tournament in Switzerland and were there for 10 days having to put up with each other away from the table. The comparison with failing relationships may be valid – some people work well together only if they have plenty of time apart too I suspect!



Iain ClimieFebruary 1st, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Sorry, should have clarified South doesn’t cash HK there

jim2February 1st, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Did the other West underlead the AS?

I am curious how “this precise ending” came about at the other table.

Iain ClimieFebruary 1st, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Hi Jim2,

West could have kicked off with SAx I suppose, then heart off table, Ace, spade ruffed etc.


Steve ConradFebruary 1st, 2020 at 6:42 pm


In the bidding question, why can’t South be 3=5=3=2 with 14 hcp?

Bobby WolffFebruary 1st, 2020 at 8:58 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt bridge partnerships are directly subject to judge and being judged on a more or less continual basis..

The more long lasting ones tend to admit mistakes any time he or she (perhaps even more important when there is one of each) is even partly responsible (IOW, less than 50%) for what might have been done.

I can attest, (at least IMO) to that being wise, to which that admission, whatever the back and forth arguments, tends to work out best.

Yes, a bridge partnership can be, and usually is, similar to a marital combination, except to state that it is far more important, since it is only going to be compared to living life, a far less troublesome subject, than just bridge playing.

Since from any way one wants to look at it, our winning at our beloved game will go to the partnership which makes the fewer mistakes, not the one who makes the smarter and greater plays, since the opportunity for mistakes is at least 10 times more prevalent than making awesome ones.

Finally, again my opinion, is that how a first time partnership or even merely a veteran one, while playing an important match, needs to be at the ready to take the blame, when the first trouble results (usually earlier than expected).

That behavior alone may and I think will, be the single most favorable event of the day, if it can be pulled off without too much fanfare.

Bobby WolffFebruary 1st, 2020 at 9:08 pm

Hi Jim2,

The column’s comment about “precise” likely is an overbid, one which we take for granted in describing bridge and we probably shouldn’t, (since the discussion and postmortems often require exactness), although the reporting of hands from around the globe are sometimes done very loosely, or worse, we cause it.

Agree with your concern since under leading an ace against a suit contract, is indeed a “rarity”.

Bobby WolffFebruary 1st, 2020 at 9:21 pm

Hi Steve,

No doubt your concern, like I just answered Jim2, is valid, but a player is unlikely not to take some risk, one way or the other. Yes, I would tend to pass 2 diamonds for that reason, but my judgment may be challenged by others.

However, when I play “standard” (meaning a 1NT response is 100% forcing over one of partner’s major), I prefer to restrict 1NT to 11+ or even 12 hcps and pass 1NT when dealt a hand like you suggest 3-5-3-2 while holding a minimum.

No one, at least no experienced player, expects perfect logic while bidding, since lady luck, ask Jim2 with his TOCM, holds sway.