Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 23rd, 2020


Bobby WolffFebruary 6th, 2020 at 8:11 pm

Hi Everyone,

Somewhat akin to the political hatred, we Americans have had to deal with lately, but instead, only having to talk about tournament bridge, I offer the following:

1. When playing this hand at matchpoints, at the very least, seems simply that taking two diamond finesses, first against the jack, then, if necessary next, vs. the king. The ending would usually result in eleven tricks, but with the clubs breaking 5-1, likely only ten.

2. However at IMPs or rubber bridge, the column line seems best, unless the lead of the spade deuce is only from three spades, a possibility but not the percentage,

3. Although some may argue that this conundrum makes bridge a better game, but not be me, who has always maintained that making one’s contract is a consequential factor, not to be thought of as nothing but chopped liver.

4. While I would grudgingly take the diamond route if playing matchpoints, I would do so in some pain, since, at least to me, the above factor is and still should be, a primary motivating factor to follow.

Yes, taking the percentage play, when deciding how to proceed is indeed a strong motivational philosophy, but like the foolishness of strict party politics, one needs to either accept it or relegate himself to being a maverick, a likely synonym by many, for being nothing but, a loser.

Iain ClimieFebruary 6th, 2020 at 11:53 pm

Hi Bobby,

Fair enough but credit to Tony Ye for realising that he had 4 club tricks not 5 and coming up with the 100% line at least assuming that West has 4 spades. Of course if West had found a cunning false card from Kxxxx then matters might be rather different! If South had held HQJ109x and dummy had not held the D10, ironically the winning line would be easier to spot. Too many options can lead into the minefield of TOCM and we all know what happens next.