Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, March 28th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoApril 11th, 2020 at 11:24 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite educative . West knows for certain that his partner does not have any clubs left and there is no point for West to continue with clubs as he does not have any entry. Continuing hearts surely does not help but to work out which diamond to lead is elucidated nicely.
But perhaps East messed up defense. Had he ducked first spade, south does not have any play for the contract as on the fourth heart, dummy gets squeezed ahead of east

Bill CubleyApril 11th, 2020 at 1:28 pm


The BWTA hand has this non-expert ask about the 3 clubs bid. New suits by responder are usually forcing. How much in extras does the 2NT bid show? You certainly got the shape right. I wonder if the cards are there to make 3NT.

Still trying to learn after all these years.

Iain ClimieApril 11th, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Hi Bobby,

Isn’t 1NT more obvious than preference to 2D on BWTA, especially if LHO woodenly leads a club at it?



bobbywolffApril 11th, 2020 at 5:05 pm


Yes you, as usual, are correct to say that East could have defeated 3NT by ducking the first spade played toward dummy.

However, much easier said than done, since East could feel in charge by winning the first spade and returning the jack, announcing full control of that suit. Unfortunately since we do not play with transparent cards, certain tricks, influenced by the line of play, are just not indicative enough to the defense to be able to defend 100% correct.

Just too many possibilities to allow the judgment of one defender to first feel and then execute the winning defense. Perhaps in years to come one really special player (or robot) will
fill that bill, but none of us should hold our breath till that happens.

However, always thanks for using your expert analysis to at least point it out to us so perhaps one day some player on this site may be one of the first ones to produce such a feat.

bobbywolffApril 11th, 2020 at 5:19 pm

Hi Bill,

Yes, the sequence you refer to is unusual together with the normal caveat of 4th suit being forcing.

However since South had already shown weakness with his return to 2 diamonds, his then 3 club bid should show something very similar to what he has.

Remember a bridge teaching adage, from long ago, which still, AFAIK, very applicable. “One’s hand should never be judged to be either good or bad, but instead only in relation to the overall previous bidding”. If so, it then would be easy for North to then pass 3 clubs.

Yes, South should have preferred 1NT instead of 2 diamonds the previous round, but perhaps he or she felt that his 2 diamond choice may sound weaker than might 1NT, which may have, at least to some, a potential higher upside range.

bobbywolffApril 11th, 2020 at 5:29 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes and no doubt, but for that to happen wooden should probably apply to the texture of the opening leader’s brain, not to his only listening to the bidding.

To all those relying on leading suits which are not bid, please do not take offense, since every hand in bridge seems to be, at the very least, slightly different, and this sequence sounds like one of them.

However, and no doubt 1NT would and should be much more popular for South’s choice of his rebid.