Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 14th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoMarch 28th, 2020 at 10:21 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite an interesting hand. Bridge provides for enough mental stimulation if such hands are worked out without the aid of a computer. And perhaps a minor refinement would be , when East returns a diamond after winning second spade, it is better for south to play low and even if he carelessly plays ten hoping east holds J and now, if West craftily plays A, dummy should ditch diamond K else West returns spade forcing south to ruff but due to the block in diamond suit, the squeeze does not operate .However had south played low on diamond and if West plays A, south can jettison diamond K and has a dessert of double delight. If West returns a spade south ruffs cashes diamond Q and ruffs diamond squeezing east in black suits and If West returns a diamond, south does not need the squeeze

Robert LiptonMarch 28th, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Since this is double dummy, howzabout declarer wins the opening lead with the ace, draws three rounds ending in dummy, and leads a club off the board, playing east for all of them? If east goes up, declarer covers, then leads a diamond, catching west in a Morton’s fork coup (if west rises, declarer makes with four trumps, two diamonds and four clubs), repeats the club finesse and throws a diamond, then a diamond is ruffed, again making the contract with four trumps, four clubs, a diamond and a diamond ruff.


A V Ramana RaoMarch 28th, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Hi Robert
There is no fourth club trick for declarer ( had it been there, south can claim after drawing trumps) and there is no Morton fork either for the same reason

Bobby WolffMarch 28th, 2020 at 3:03 pm

Hi AVRR & Robert,

First, Robert, the ambiguity in the play resulted from your assumption that East played the queen of clubs on West’s opening club lead. but instead since the nine looks like a short suit, feels like a short suit lead, and, of course, actuality is. Even the only other alternative for that West lead would be KJ9, (unless West is used to throwing goofy instead of routine normal pitches) the third seat club play should still be a small one, disallowing your straightforward eventual extra club trick (although the text does not specifically say so).

No Yellow Brick Road to success here, producing no Morton’s either, but please do not feel forked.

Thanks AVRR for your overall complete and keen analysis.

Robert LiptonMarch 28th, 2020 at 5:33 pm

My misake. THE CT8 are equals..

Bobby WolffMarch 28th, 2020 at 6:23 pm

Hi Robert,

Although, yes it was a technical mistake, but many East’s would be wooden and follow with the queen, playing third hand high, to their detriment, but only if declarer is made of sterner stuff. and, of course, playing both defenders for what they had.

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