Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, March 5th, 2020


Iain ClimieMarch 19th, 2020 at 4:36 pm

Hi Bobby,

Amusing end position (although not for East) although very sad for E-W that West didn’t have a broken heart suit suit (e.g. J9xx) when a diamond lead would have been more appealing.

On BWTA you really want partner to be in 3N with (say) HQx but that isn’t ever going to happen, so 3N will almost certainly be wrong-sided. If partner has HJ10x or Qxx they might gamble on 3N with a potentially inadequate stop but that could go spectacularly wrong. With scattered values, no clear bid, at least 3 hearts and no raise to 4H occurring , perhaps there is more of a case for leaving the double in; does that make sense?



bobbywolffMarch 19th, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Hi Iain,

As usual, most all of your words of wisdom, will receive a hearty psychological agreement from me.

No one can deny the needed luck often present in both choices of bids, specific card holdings, and relatively random locations of key combinations of cards.

The above, among other factors, should result in longer matches with tournament bridge, and, of course, more time included with rubber bridge matches, particularly so when coin of the realm is the prize.

The above hand, as you stated, is an excellent example of the above and IMO I, with the BWTA, as South, would go with double as the more flexible way to give partner a wider range of choices, often centering around the choice between 3NT (oft times gambling) when of course support for the unbid major is not in the cards.

However, the thought of passing partner’s double, as North, for penalties, has very little appeal to me, since finding the right 52 card layout for it to be the successful choice doesn’t compare to the ridiculous downside it presents when partner is very short in hearts, a condition often present and oft times is one of his main reasons for the doubler choosing that action.

Sure, when it works, one feels triumphant, but first, waiting to find out and then the awful low felt when it becomes a disaster, is just not worth that risk, since in addition to that result it helps destroy the built up confidence between your partnership, so very vital to be consistently present, on all the hands to follow.