Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 11th, 2020


Iain ClimieMarch 25th, 2020 at 2:00 pm

Hi Bobby,

I think West should get this right. South has HAJ, CK, DK and SA but surely not the DJ or the hand is over (and South would probably have led a high diamond from hand holding KJx). Hence a club simply isn’t going to help much as South will just play on diamonds. East would also have played the S10 not x on the second round of the suit if starting with QJ10x and only then the Sx. So the second club just won’t help matters given the D intermediates in dummy.

All easy after the event, though!


Iain Climie

bobbywolffMarch 25th, 2020 at 3:28 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, you are right on target as to what and why West should have returned a diamond at “crunch” time.

Delving deeper into why, one (this case West) will (should) then understand what step to take and thus improve. There are usually (high percentage) two legitimate methods of gathering evidence,

1. Matching up the bidding to the play; and 2. matching up the why of the play up to the climax of the hand.

Here, and as to (1) South could have the jack of diamonds on the bidding, but (2) as you emphasized, if South would have held the jack of diamonds he, no doubt, would have started diamonds earlier..

While there is no real shortcut to take in visualizing unseen hands (declarer with the defense and each defender with the declarer).

To the above, and, of course, with time, a wannabe excellent player must go through the stages necessary to reach his or her goal, but like many other areas of life, once learned, never forgotten (or, at least till senility starts to set in). And although throwing horseshoes is perhaps the only sport where close becomes favorable, still, during the early periods of learning, takes some time to develop the concentration necessary to mightily succeed in bridge.

And to make a decision whether or not to go that direction, ask the best players one knows whether or not it is worth it. I sincerely believe you will get a unanimous yes from them all.

However, one, even without the above, can still enjoy the game from a detached viewpoint. It just depends on the individual to decide, but without the above talent developed do not expect anything but a rocky road to having fun and more importantly, to feel especially good about oneself.

However, a word of caution, the ability to playing good bridge is not dealt to everyone, so if it is just too great a mountain to climb, accept and adjust to it, and decide what to do from there.

Sorry Iain for my rather long rant, but your on point comment led me to it. However your closing sentence was just your modesty talking, since you, I, and everyone who knows you would be certain you would have gotten this defense right, before and during, and able to teach partner why, immediately or anytime, after.