Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 3rd, 2020


A V Ramana RaoFebruary 17th, 2020 at 11:06 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps , North player should have passed the double of two hearts seeing Queen to four hearts and singleton spade (partner’s suit) in hand and NS could have scored 500 on proper defense. And clearly EW cannot run to any other suit. Grateful if you can comment

bobbywolffFebruary 17th, 2020 at 1:40 pm


Yes, you are probably right about the 3 down result (with best defense). However, passing the reopening double is sometimes a punishing action to a partner who, although South having the right distribution (shortness in hearts and reasonable length, at least three, in both of the unbid suits) but minimum in hcps), sometimes, too often to consider, enabling declarer to legitimately score up his contract tricks.

Two possible partnership events then occur, first a terrible result with declarer scoring up his contract (often plus a doubled overtrick), then usually followed with a loss in partnership confidence who while South, perhaps holding: s. KJ987, h. void, d. QJ104, c. AK93 and making what most experienced players, likely including both you and I, may feel is a classic TO double reopening.

No doubt and in other occasions, such as instead, the column’s layout, to pass is clearly the winning action, but does the great result obtained, overcome the other extreme?

My take on that question is a clear and definite no, since, by passing, one, IMO in no uncertain terms, is standing up and waving the flag of merely hoping partner will have the right defensive hand for my significant gamble to work as against having a real heart stack QJ98x and, of course hopefully another potential trick or so.

Finally my now discussion will produce varied results, certainly not nearly all of them as positive as any partnership might like, but instead, not very often for playing partner for having the hand we want him to have and therefore taking a middle to conservative action of playing for average results and instead relying on good play (as declarer and defense) and sound bidding (nothing too overly optimistic, but rather just consistent, will produce a better, longer lasting partnership, or at least one which can stand to sometimes pass up great results in order not to have to deal with horrendous ones.

Finally, I am not here to say that passing the double is horrible, only to relay the message above and suggest it to be usually the percentage action for one’s partnership in order to rise and continue in the elevator going North.

Always thanks for taking your precious time to merely bring up the possibility of different strokes for different folks.