Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, April 2nd, 2020


A V Ramana RaoApril 16th, 2020 at 11:27 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps South had a simpler play available. He should have realised that the contract has a chance ony if clubs broke and also that there is no chance of ruffing two diamonds in dummy without a trump promotion. ( He can plan to ruff a heart in hand but again, if east were to hold doubleton ten or J of spades, even that play would fail)
So all he had to do was to duck the opening lead, win the continuation ( switch does not help defense) and play three rounds of spades and then three rounds of clubs without bothering who wins. If east wins and lead diamond , dummy ruffs , south takes diamond pitch on the long club and concede a heart. If West wins, there is icing on the cake as West can lead only a heart

bobbywolffApril 16th, 2020 at 3:52 pm


While I am not intending to debate the value of your intelligent line of play as opposed to the line declarer took, it still is somewhat unclear as to which line is best.

The good news about the diamond lead is that if, in fact, it is shortness (could be from three to an honor or KJ7) it, if from shortness (singleton or doubleton) makes it more likely that clubs will behave (3-3), more room left in West’s hand.

Therefore it becomes a question of which is more likely, a singleton diamond or the jack of hearts with West.

Although the percentage tables may suggest one or the other, being at the table, at least to me, creates a more likely correct guess.

However, your line of play is, at the very least, a solid choice to take, only requiring the declarer to hold his breath, until trick two is quitted.

Perhaps that decision can be better gauged by
not so ethical opponents who have learned an old lesson often suggested to them early in their careers, “lead your singletons fast!” therefore using their illegal activities to your side’s advantage.

Thanks for your, at the very least, compelling alternative and, even more so, taking your precious time to suggest it.