Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, May 17th, 2020


Iain ClimieMay 31st, 2020 at 7:07 pm

HI Bobby,

Regarding Action Man’s query I suppose there could be resurrected ones too, especially against weak pairs. They stop in 2S after an opening bid and raise pass, pass so you balance with 3 of something only for LHO to bid 3S and opener now re-evaluates his hand and bids 4. Partner compounds the felony by taking the big stick to it and the OPPO make 590 or 790 against a room full of pairs in game making 10 or 11 tricks. Bang goes the top or even average plus! I’ve see n it happen a few times while some cunning openers might sandbag their way to the same result, even NV at teams.

Balancing acts can fall off the wire occasionally.



Bobby WolffMay 31st, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Hi Iain,


However, to what you are referring is both a low percentage happening and as you suggest, done by inexperienced players (and partnerships) to which you and partner could likely know who they may be, and so thread carefully. Often these erratic opponents have left calling cards, enlightening their identity, but, of course, some may sneak in, under the radar, and though often it accrues to your advantage, sometimes it is not, but as the song goes, “It’s all in the game”!

When it does happen (falling off the wire), and bad for you, always notify Jim2, if for no other reasons, than to make him feel better, and to let him know that TOCM TM is not the only terrible bridge event that can happen.

Bobby WolffMay 31st, 2020 at 11:28 pm

Hi again Iain,

To further pursue the previous subject, suppose you held as South dealer, with neither side vulnerable:

s. KQ10xxxx
h. x
d. KQJxx
c. void

and opened 1 spade and had it follow, West 2 clubs, North 2 spades, East pass, I think it 90%+ safe to now pass (huge sandbag), since West will almost certainly bid again. West holds: s. void, h. AQx, d. xx, c. AKQxxxxx and continues to underbid with 3 clubs passed around to South who now ventures 4 spades (possibly only 3 against aggressive opponents who might and probably would continue to bid another club)) but now, whatever is likely to happen, with NS now declaring the final contract would at least in my opinion be a solid victory for NS in the psychological game.

BTW, North’s hand was: s. AJx, h. 9xxxx, d. d. 10xx, c. Qx with East being left with s. xxx, h. K10xx, d. Axx, c. xxx.

So much for the poker side of bridge, but to deny its presence and thus value, is to develop a blind eye to what happens far more often than many would expect.

Sure NS are cold for 5 spades, but EW for a grand slam in clubs, and, of course East might have given his partner a friendly raise the first round, then making the later battle at the much higher level and in a perfect world the par contract being 7 spades doubled by NS -300, but, in fact, not likely to occur.

Iain ClimieJune 1st, 2020 at 8:51 am

HI Bobby,

Many thanks for that and, regardless of the result, both South and West will be using the hand to ask anyone who will listen what they’d do if ….