Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 10th, 2020


jim2April 24th, 2020 at 11:33 am

I would note that declarer does not really need to unblock the KD as in the text. That is, if declarer finesses the 9D and it wins with West following suit, then over-taking the KD with the AD will run the suit easily enough.

Retaining the KD may help if West shows out, as it allows declarer the choice of either:

1) an over-take (perhaps for a desperation heart lead) or

2) cashing the KD to force a West discard while depriving East of a diamond trick later. (West with, say, xxx Spades and AQ10x Hearts might pitch an xS allowing a club throw-in)

MirceaApril 24th, 2020 at 1:36 pm

Would you have made the same opening lead on this contract, Bobby?

In my infinitely smaller experience I would have considered leading the forth best heart. I don’t have any justification for it, other then intuition. Too many times, leading from a 4 card suit when holding 9 or more cards in two suits works out better. Just an empirical observation.

bobbywolffApril 24th, 2020 at 4:24 pm

Hi Jim2,

Yes, your attention to every detail, where others do not, always shines bright, clear, and above both, always correct.

However, in your case, West would have been mentored and no doubt, also monitored by Mircea and thus preferring to lead a low heart. EW then, before trick two made a sporting gesture of showing all their remaining twenty four cards left in their hands, but to your no avail (it does get a little tricky and I think it succeeds about declarer pulling off a spade diamond squeeze against East at the death, if, in fact he leads a heart right back).

Sorry and no doubt, your TOCM TM has made you the best world wide bridge instructor thus, and of course, theoretical player ever, but, as always, continues to restrict you to not playing the game, for fear of, similar to today’s health restrictions, having to distance yourself at least eight feet away from the other three players. which unfortunately requires card tables not yet manufactured.

bobbywolffApril 24th, 2020 at 4:42 pm

Hi Mircea,

My off hand answer is a definite no, since I firmly believe that, while defending 3NT, perhaps the largest result difference lies in the opening leader having a five card suit to lead instead of only four.

However and to my knowledge, the above statement has never been officially proved and the only time I ever heard that statement being made was in 1975 at the Bermuda Bowl (being officially held in Bermuda (25th anniversary) when the foot soldiers and cheaters from Italy claimed, during a press conference while examining their cheating propensities, that when leading from s. KQxxx, h. 10xxx, d. xx, c. xx and against a 2NT P 3NT auction led a heart, catching partner with 5 hearts to the KQ and shortness in spades, defeating the contract.

They maintained that their experience suggested to lead the shorter major. If one wants to believe that he can, but, at least to me, if that is so, then there is likely not a cow in Texas, but since I have done no farming or ranching, perhaps, how would I know?

BTW, those same two foot soldiers since have never played world bridge again nor likely ever will.

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