Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020


Rich AhrensMay 6th, 2020 at 12:50 pm

Good morning, Mr. Wolff.
On BWTA, I have often profited from your advice that an opener holding an unbalanced minimum should raise responder’s major with three card support. But with these spade spots, isn’t the risk of stranding partner in a very ratty Moysian too great? What weight do you give suit strength in deciding whether to raise?

Iain ClimieMay 6th, 2020 at 7:30 pm

HI Bobby,

I love the D switch but there are other nefarious options. With DKxx or even If ad H10xx East can duck the first diamond smoothly so declarer takes the safety play. If East starts with 3 rounds of spades then declarer riffs, takes the D finesse which loses (say) so declarer need a no trump loser. Taking the C return ‘declarer leads a H towards AJxx guarding vs Q alone when Ace, finesse 9, cash HK, CA, D to table and draw trumps. Great except West had Q10 or even Q10x in H!



Iain ClimieMay 6th, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Sorry need a should be needs.

bobbywolffMay 7th, 2020 at 1:42 am

Hi Iain,

No doubt you and I would do the right thing regarding heart attacks.

No one can fool me, I’m too ignorant.

bobbywolffMay 7th, 2020 at 6:34 pm

Hi Rich,

While what you say has definite merit, in this case I think, in spite of holding the three lowest trump, your overall plan, before winning the auction or, of course, your partner seeing the dummy, his likely overall plan is to use those very low trump to ruff his potentially losing clubs, allowing them to proudly show themselves off as winning tricks.

IOW, the immediate above is the plan and sometimes reasonable dreams do really become reality. Finally, bridge being a mathematical and thus highly a percentage game, then after a possible fit is being established (keep in mind that partner will not then rebid a 4 card suit, even after being supported, until he knows there are at least 8 trump in the combined hands), but, at least, you, his partner needs to suggest to him that spades, very well, may be the ultimate trump suit. Also, if you do not raise now, you may not later find a convenient time to do so since the level may get too high before your next time to bid (also partner, after you do not raise, jumps or just bids 3NT, he may have 5+ spades, but not being supported does not want to go beyond that level, keeping the partnership in the dark as to having that critical 8 card fit, all top bridge partnerships usually seek.