Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, May 21st, 2020


MirceaJune 4th, 2020 at 9:05 pm

Hi Bobby,

Nice problem and play. Assuming that declarer was close to Lauria’s caliber, could he not infer the situation and go for the suggested endplay? In other words if Lauria (not some mere mortal) went up with QC, there must be a reason.

Is this too far fetched (at this level)?

Bobby WolffJune 4th, 2020 at 11:45 pm

Hi Mircea,

First, nothing is too far fetched at any level.

It would not be unusual for any good player to rise with the queen of clubs, whether holding both club honors or not. And if he did, the percentage line would fail, only making if declarer did what was suggested which likely would not have happened, since it was no where near the percentage choice.

IOW, Lauria made the winning play by rising with the unsupported queen, not made at the other table, only suggesting that the opposite West was dozing off.

Thanks for asking with the only intelligent thing left unsaid, being the necessity, at that level of play, for West to be mentally ready to rise (king or queen held).

Iain ClimieJune 5th, 2020 at 7:42 am

HI Bobby, Mircea,

If the hand were slightly different, rising with the CQ could again be right e.g. if declarer had Cox and needed two entries – manageable by playing a C to the 10 with fingers firmly crossed then overtaking the K. I wonder how many such plays are missed not just at the time but afterwards? The modern supply of hand records after the session is quite a boon here.



Bobby WolffJune 5th, 2020 at 9:38 am

Hi Iain & Mircea

No doubt correctly described by Iain, but also with a helpful hint of promoting studying the hand records, hopefully available immediately after an event, especially when the hands used are duplicated across a large number of tables in play.

Advantages for doing so emphasize both a convenient and timely way to assess both how both directions could (and in many cases) should have both bid to the right contract and also played it correctly leaving it up to the reader, without being rushed, to see clearly what and how the defense could have done, together with deciding whether the information known at different key times during that hand were enough to at least point the defenders to their best chance for taking the most (or at least enough) tricks ending of course, with the most intelligent defense likely to achieve their goal.

IOW, how to get there from here should always be the objective.