Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, February 22nd, 2020


Bruce karlsonMarch 7th, 2020 at 1:04 pm

could or should have Jeff figured that the 4 must be from a 3 card suit giving West 5? It seems to the cheap seats that that might make ducking the 4 easier as losing the D finesse then allows the contract to make.

bobbywolffbMarch 7th, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Hi Bruce,

Yes, by following the spots, 5 is the most likely number of hearts West probably started with.
Both by the specific cards played, and a thought that by holding 6, after South has responded 1 heart, makes not as much chance of leading that suit, since the fluidity in partnership defense, together with missing a major top honor (the king) is lessened, though not necessarily an impossible choice.

Bob LiptonMarch 7th, 2020 at 5:45 pm

Just another hand where the world class players are going down, while duffers like me are going “Welp, I going to lose these tricks anyway, might as well duck one” and making an overtrick.


Iain ClimieMarch 7th, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Hi Bobby,

Particularly unlucky for Jeff Meckstroth as West didn’t just lead a spade although that is perhaps symptomatic of too much pairs. West’s badly placed minor suit honours argue for an aggressive lead at teams.



bobbywolffMarch 7th, 2020 at 6:30 pm

Hi Iain,

While years ago I would have thought leading a spade is quite normal after the declarer has responded in my longest suit. However, I have since changed my tune, particularly so under these favorable vulnerability situations where partner had the opportunity to overcall one or two spades at his first turn.

While early bridge has been taught to have a decent hand before coming in the bidding, I sincerely think that if holding s. KQ10xx and a stray queen to always get in early with one spade, and with a sixth spade (and perhaps not even the 10 to go with) to instead preempt 2 spades.

Two advantages in lead directing, but also and likely as important to take bidding space away from those worthy opponents, who sometimes use every level of bidding to arrive at their best contract.

Nothing more, but nothing less, so that I think leading his 4th best heart (particularly while also holding the intermediate 9, a key factor).

Winning bridge accrues to the bold, not the timid. However, if all I had to do is to convince you to do such things, I, indeed, would have an easy task. Bid em up and prepare to conquer, while sometimes sleeping in the streets, but doing so with our boots firmly on, not off.

It takes a while to form opinions and playing against the best opposition one can, although having some rough patches, is clearly the way to form valid bridge opinions which will only grow more secure with time.

Good luck and everyone remember who said it, unless, of course, that time it backfired.