Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, May 8th, 2020


Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2020 at 1:44 pm

Hi Bobby,

Despite the 5-5 (!) major suit fit, 3NT has 9 top tricks. I often bang on about the obsession with weak 4-4 fits being overdone when 3N is safer (consider HQxxx opposite 108xx with a side Ace to lose but plenty of tricks elsewhere) but this is an even more dramatic case. If South goes off, I don’t expect North will see the funny side of being blamed for moving to a dodgy contract, though.



bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2020 at 2:36 pm

Hi Iain,

As usual, ON TARGET!

But at least now, to attempt to immediately cut to the chase:

1. Yes, while holding a 4-4 major suit fit, there are multiple times when choosing a game contract that when faced with (Qxxx opposite 108xx or weaker in a major suit) the choice of 3NT is often a more likely make, with only the difficulty of playing with non-transparent cards keeping us from often benefiting from that miracle.

2. However when upping the ante and then eschewing a 5-5 major suit support and stopping at 3NT such as today’s hand, probably would be investigated by the bridge police before being allowed to become scored up, but not without both stern consternation and no doubt, a few dirty looks.

Although both of the above, especially #2, are almost always mirror distribution (eg exactly the same) but in spite of that unusual circumstance would very likely not cause either partner to even consider such, with not even fairy tales of dreaming a final possible NT contract to be even floating in the air.

Not to say that some may call it a travesty, but others “to each his own” said the man as he kissed the cow (but none the less, his udder choice).

However, in actuality, did so only to celebrate his receiving the hand records early.

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Hi again Iain,

Since I should apologize to you for only trying to stand against your reputational brilliance, let me amend my opinion to totally agreeing with your view except:

When your overall stronger partnership hands than your opponent contain 4 small in a major suit opposite the same major suit with your partner also holding only 4 small, but having one of your ugly opponents opening the bidding with 1 of that same suit while playing 5 card majors my suggestion is to tread carefully before deciding to seek out that 4-4 fit to be trump but if so, consider not getting higher than the 2 level, especially if he will be on lead.

Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2020 at 5:52 pm

HI Bobby,

To say nothing of the opponents scoring up honours at rubber bridge!

Thanks for the thoughts


bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2020 at 7:24 pm

Hi Iain,

Thanks always for your attention to details even though the devil, at least, according to tradition seems (-150 honors) to again be present.