Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 23rd, 2020


A V Ramana RaoApril 6th, 2020 at 4:36 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite an instructive hand and with reference to the last line : yes, excess baggage could be burdensome and many players would have fallen to the temptation of club finesse and in a lighter vein : perhaps even Mrs. Guggenheim would have made the hand if she were dealt with K Q of clubs instead of A Q of clubs

Bobby WolffApril 6th, 2020 at 5:08 pm


You mention “instructive hand” but you are the one with the instructive information of declarer abandoning the notion of more than one club trick on the way to establishing the required ten.

Perhaps it is Dame Fortune dealing that sound declarer club holding in order to tempt declarer to turn his attention away from the winning task of basically establishing a dummy reversal for a victory instead of carelessly relying on those strong intermediate clubs.

A lesson needed to be learned of declarer keeping his eye on what many hands may suggest, an overall view to one’s contract rather than pretty scenery, but, alas, no cigar.

Iain ClimieApril 6th, 2020 at 5:22 pm

Hi Bobby,

I recall in Alan Sontag’s autobiography “The Bridge Bum” that Ira Rubin was nicknamed the beast and tried to live up to it (as per today’s quote). Was this true and did it help or hinder his results? I do wonder at times why people yell at partner’s (OK, except today if / when South goes off at teams or rubber bridge).



A V Ramana RaoApril 6th, 2020 at 5:57 pm

Perhaps Mr. Hyde playing this hand would have gone for the club finesse while Dr Jekyll would have played A and small club. Life is full of ironies

Bobby WolffApril 6th, 2020 at 6:42 pm

Hi Iain,

All true, including often when partners are yelling at each, oft times it detracts from their opponent’s concentration benefitting the offending side.

But, as Stephen Potter can attest, all parts of gamesmanship are directed at winning, as distasteful as it can be.

However, the good news, since Ira Rubin (aka, the Beast) preceded me in bridge, I became victimized by his presence, to which I hoped I learned to take it in stride (and even as a compliment) which, in its own way, is part of the growing process in all forms of competitions.

Possibly a bit unusual and strange, but I think,

Bobby WolffApril 6th, 2020 at 7:00 pm


Possibly true, but hold off, if next you will tell me, like the fairy tales, that the good guys live happily ever after.

Perhaps in our final resting place, but, at least to me, and while still breathing, not so on this planet and coming from a guy who has been, like most, somewhere in the middle.