Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 2nd, 2020


jim2March 16th, 2020 at 12:16 pm

All of the spade spots are “missing,” so West could easily have led from 9876, or 9875.

Thus, as declarer, I would place small value on West’s likelihood of having one more spade suggesting one more heart. Instead, I would place much more value on the 10H being in the North hand, as noted in passing in the last line of text. That is, the 10H becomes a top trump if the JH is doubleton (as it is in the column hands). This makes the second club ruff immune to over-ruff. That substantial extra chance is not present in the diamond ruffing line.

Iain ClimieMarch 16th, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Hi Bobby,

Can I just ask what is happening with clubs in the USA at the moment? On this side of the pond they’re suspending play in many cases and most tournaments are being called off; on-line play doesn’t appeal to me normally but it is worth considering at the moment. All the best to everyone for avoiding the virus, though.



bobbywolffMarch 16th, 2020 at 3:02 pm

Hi Jim2,

To quote a long ago popular song, “My defenses are down, you’ve broken my resistance and the battle can’t be won”. No doubt the nine of spades does NOT necessarily show shorter spades from the leader, and thus, small, if any, valid evidence, your line appears better and, little doubt, should be chosen.

Sometimes, especially when declaring an important contract like a slam, and facing a tough choice, the declarer, in his frustration, forces himself to believe evidence which is only hopeful, not authentic.

Thanks for your wise counsel, but be advised that if you consistently continue to set us right we will have to reduce you to Jim3 or worse in order to protect our reputation (such as it might be).

jim2March 16th, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Note, Dear Host and World Champion — I beg you! — that I agree with the column line!

I simply opined that the second factor for its choice seemed larger then the first factor offered!

bobbywolffMarch 16th, 2020 at 3:44 pm

Hi Iain,

The only word to which I would consider proper to use, although scary, would be “panic”.

However, I, too, do not cotton to online bridge. but the local bridge clubs in almost every city. big or small, USA and AFAIK are still open.

Also, with promised large areas between tables and other speculative preventive measures provided, and, of course, the opportunity to choose defiance over safer (staying home) is available.

At least to me, if Judy and I play today, is that when if two finesses win to land a bad game contract, I’ll probably need to wait a few days to find out whether our choice was worth it or not.

Oh well, we only live one life but playing bridge may be the best way to go out. The bad news for me is that lady luck, who up to now, has been extremely thoughtful to us, might change her mind.

However, as you lovingly suggest, good luck to especially those who love our game, and may God bless the world, during this possible, extreme crises.

bobbywolffMarch 16th, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Hi Jim 2 /12, and if not for TOCM TM, no doubt, Galaxy champ!

Gotcha, but your comment was like a very tasty dessert after digesting a mostly mediocre meal.

bobbywolffMarch 16th, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Hi Jim 1 1/2,

To be clearer, yes, no doubt the diamond suit being chosen to ruff out should not be the bridge strategy or even in the ball park, but, I agree, the suggestion of the spades being shorter with West, had no logic whatsoever to justify it.

Yes, thanks to you, and finally, the simple mysteries of the choice of play, at least on this hand, have been put to rest.