Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, January 28th, 2020


Iain ClimieFebruary 11th, 2020 at 10:02 am

Hi Bobby,

Two lessons from this:

1. 4 (defensive winners) into 3 (tricks) can go
2. Churchill’s famous quote applies to bridge: “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense”.



Bobby WolffFebruary 11th, 2020 at 3:21 pm

Hi Iain,

Beautifully described,

In games where there are trumps (e.g. privileged deuces can outrank aces), there are often opportunities to overturn might, the most common likely, en passant.

For a clearer picture, it suggests forcing the enemy to use weapons (high cards including trump) to harmlessly double down on defense, producing fewer for them as their winning cards fall on the same trick.

Next, you summed up the main reason where many polls (in the USA and no doubt at least parts of Europe) voted Winny the exalted “Man of the 20th Century” Award, to which he led the “world’s good guys” to victory over the evil ones.

No doubt, in this old arena, there have been countless other great deeds done through magnificent leadership, but for whatever reason, likely from my limitation on specific heroic military history, he may have had a legitimate challenger, but for my sake and generations, no one measured up to him.

But, if so, that person would have had to have been very tall in the saddle to match his value.

Thanks mightily, for this morning’s inspiration.

Iain ClimieFebruary 11th, 2020 at 3:50 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for that and also don’t forget that Winston Churchill’s mother was half American. In addition, American divorcee Wallis Simpson gets (sort of) an honorary mention, although her contribution was unintentional. King Edward VIII, who abdicated to be with her, was alarmingly tolerant of Hitler and company but fortunately his brother who replaced him was not. I don’t know if you’ve seen “Darkest Hour” but it does show that some senior British politicians were in favour of accommodating Hitler in 1940, and letting him have Europe. Churchill thought otherwise.


Bobby WolffFebruary 11th, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Hi Iain,

Believe it or not, Judy and I did see “Darkest Hour” .. among the three or four movies we’ve seen the last three or four years and loved it.

No doubt, England got a huge break when “Uncle Joe Stalin” persuaded Hitler to invade Russia rather than to blitz England, a decision which, no doubt, contributed mightily to the final result of victory for the Allies.

And speaking of Wallis Simpson, I was only 4 years old when my parents bought me a Belgian Shepherd dog, on the day King Edward VIII abdicated in the mid 1930s, and brandished her with the name “Wally”.

She was a great companion to me, showing unconditional love in spite of my squirting water at her from the outdoor hose (which she hated) as a form of torture; I still rue the day and wake up with shivers, whenever I dream about doing that.

No doubt that Churchill movie highly educated many younger Americans about those long ago “very trying” years long before many countless inventions allowed daily lives to possess unbelievable creature comforts. They encompass huge health benefits which has led to much longer life expectancy so that we at least have the opportunities not always afforded our ancestors.

Like the playing of bridge, life, with its wartime and other world decisions, cause the globe to go around. Where it breaks and then sometimes radically changes (as you describe with abdications and other random but momentous decisions) puts pause to how and why it all happens.

But, like the American poet and humorist Mark Twain once said .. “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it”.

Thank heaven for Winston!