Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 17th, 2020


jim2May 1st, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Curiously, if West shits to a trump at Trick 2, declarer can only succeed by forcing himself by ruffing a heart along the way.

A V Ramana RaoMay 1st, 2020 at 1:13 pm

Hi Jim2
Not necessarily, doubledummy of course. Dummy wins, cashes second high trump, comes to hand with diamond , draws remaining trumps and leads Q of clubs! . West needs to cover, dummy wins and leads back club . Now, whatever defense does, south can establish long club for tenth trick

A V Ramana RaoMay 1st, 2020 at 1:23 pm

Actually, east can unblock on club A, so this line fails but south can try a low club from hand and , now , whoever wins, if returns heart, the play transposes into the column line and if they return any other suit, south establishes long club without any problem

bobbywolffMay 1st, 2020 at 5:42 pm

Hi Jim2 & AVRR,

Since you two have said about all that can be told about the declarer play, I’ll turn toward the visualization required in order, believe it or not for others, to simply take this hand in stride.

From trick two on, when East follows to the 2nd heart, West’s hand becomes a huge percent clear, with only his number of other suits to be easily determined as the play is ticked off .. when only holding six hearts (possibly .. but very improbably only five).

Likewise, then the king of clubs is clearly indicated to be with West, for without it, he would not have a one heart bid, much less the ability to compete to 2 hearts.

From there .. numbers, in the form of counting, take over making the right play, to use a common term — as easy as duck soup. If the diamond jack falls or, more likely if East has it and thus the length, no problem for the eventual heart throw-in.

The trick for success is therefore only concentration and an average mind for numbers.

Yes, adding to 13, is, as almost always, the keys to the bridge kingdom, so practice and thus perfect that memory exercise, until it becomes second nature (and done on every hand, whether as declarer or perhaps even more importantly on defense), since every player will perform as defender approximately twice as much as he will as declarer.

Presto, magico one, after forming that habit, he or she will then be able to concentrate on determining the location of key cards and/or specific distributions. From there one’s improvement will be gradual, particularly so .. if he is able to play with and against better players who will test him to not lose his required concentration.

By doing the above, all players will then magically rise to what I would guess into the top 10% of the world’s bridge players, with higher rankings depending on how much time one devotes to the game.

Even without doing the aforementioned, bridge can still be enjoyable; but with the above within the scope of a huge number of people, why settle for merely the enjoyment of playing rather when winning more than others when, he or she, in most cases, will become addicted to an enterprise which offers unusual gratification for those who survive.

Good luck and even though the first, and vital necessity of remembering, will take a little time before perfecting, like learning to ride a bicycle, will indeed, be done.

David WarheitMay 1st, 2020 at 6:37 pm

You have S ruffing the second H, but I believe that S can just as well discard a C on the second H, then win any return by W and proceed to the same endplay. It’s not as much fun, after all how often does one get to endplay an opponent who gets to cash not one but two tricks before the “strip” works its magic, but all is the same in the end.

bobbywolffMay 1st, 2020 at 10:04 pm

Hi David,

Yes, but exactly how often that opportunity presents itself, although obviously unknown. is likely more often than it appears.

However, since the number 13 would normally represent a pivotal numerical figure in an attempt to figure out the possibilities I, for one, will allow you to be the engineer of finding its factor or, at the least, the one who chooses that not so fortunate person.

Good luck to whomever accepts to do it and if so, would expect an accurate answer in the next 4 or 5 lifetimes.

Perhaps it wouldn’t take a more adept person than I so long, but if so, and it happened, I will be the last one to question how that answer
was determined or that, if so, even the positive proof that it was correct.