Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 1st, 2020


A V Ramana RaoJune 15th, 2020 at 3:15 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
And if east wins the fourth spade and returns J of club, south must cover and hope that West possesses ten of clubs. Clearly, there is no play if east holds that card as West wins club A and returns a club and if south does not cover J, dummy wins but south loses the contract as he does not have entry to hand to draw the outstanding trump.

bobbywolffJune 15th, 2020 at 4:17 pm


And thanks for pointing out this, at the death play, to which we ran out of eligible room to explain.

Also, the clubs offered a way to play them, restricting ways to yes, lose two club tricks, but the ability to still score up two for the declaring side, providing a safe haven for an extra offensive trick, if in fact the defensive EW hands
allowed it.

However that technique was for another hand on another day and only should be stored in an imaginative declarer’s mind for the future.

Finally, sometimes it is difficult to consider the possibility of manufacturing a spade trick while holding the above NS spade combination. However all of the above needs to be in the declarer’s mind quiver as he practiced his bridge archery.

Again, thank you for your necessary caveat in reaching a positive. final solution, at least for the declaring side.

Iain ClimieJune 15th, 2020 at 8:07 pm

HI Bobby,

If I’d been East I’d have doubled 5D to stop partner bidding 5H and to take the “safe” plus! Maybe West shouldn’t show so much enthusiasm although credit to North for taking the pseudo-save based on the assumption that his black queens would be worth something – although give South HK10xx and less in clubs ….

Any thought on blame here or was it just one of those things for EW? 5H is relatively cheap here but I can’t blame West for doubling and leading a trump. How on earth can NS get 11 tricks looking at his hand? Also, if the hand was played several times, what were the various results I wonder?



bobbywolffJune 16th, 2020 at 12:04 am

Hi Iain,

The implication of your first sentence tells about all anyone needs to know about predicting results during and even after, the bidding is complete.

It is easy to agree with you when you would have doubled the final contract with the East hand, didn’t happen, but your partner in the clean-up position came to your rescue, or so it seemed.

At least to me, the decisions involved are only
representative of good players attempting to do their best, when competing against equals, but hoping that fortune smiles on them rather than those big, bad, but always difficult foes.

No one can see through the cards and all any one of the four players can do is to try and take favorable percentage actions, defend their best and hope to succeed.

All I can offer, other than the intangibles, is for the losers on this hand (EW) do not let this unlucky event (but not unusual), to not adversely affect them in all the hands which follow, even including the next time EW partner up.

If so, then to learn to do exactly that in the future will be worth the learning experience gained here.

Finally, in answer to your last query, almost all tables playing this hand will result in a diamond-heart tugging contest to name the trump suit, producing about half of the pairs making something, often doubled, and the other half usually down one also many times doubled.