Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 9th, 2020


Iain ClimieJune 23rd, 2020 at 9:22 am

Hi Bobby,

Very minor and possibly obvious point but I assume that a small diamond is ditched on the HK. Very nicely played though.



bobbywolffJune 23rd, 2020 at 1:47 pm

Hi Iain,,

Yes, of course, the losing diamond was eventually then discarded on the high heart, enabling Lynn’s dummy to, one way or the other, to score up her now lone eight of spades in dummy.

And please forgive me for not making that clear during the text of the hand. Her play was high level and directed toward scoring up her conservative 2 spade contract, even against the adverse distribution encountered.

When West did not cover her queen of spades early, but then next, showed up by covering the 10, it became abundantly obvious to her, that West started with 4 spades to the K9.

Summing up this not especially complicated declarer example, might one say that some players, like Lynn, glide through, somewhat effortlessly, while others grind, seemingly living from trick to trick and only hoping for a decent result at the death, instead of relatively being confident, while on the way.

Iain ClimieJune 23rd, 2020 at 2:12 pm

HI Bobby,

Lynn’s play also works against spade being 3-3 which is not impossible. The only way things fail is if West has somehow ducked the club holding A10x or similar, has 4 spades so can kill dummy’s trump after winning 2nd club, cash a club, play a heart to partner and get a diamond back. If that happens you can only praise West.


bobbywolffJune 23rd, 2020 at 4:07 pm

Hi Iain,

As always, correct and to the point analysis.

Chalk it up to an affinity for numbers. A special talent, indigenous to bridge, and, at least seemingly always appearing at the ready.

Others, not nearly so fast will (may) get there, but, and no doubt, not as quick, nor without the obvious carefree confidence displayed.

MirceaJune 23rd, 2020 at 8:46 pm


What do you think convinced Lynn’s partner to pass 2S at this form of game? I could be wrong, but I don’t think it takes much change in the opponents hands for 4S to make.

bobbywolffJune 23rd, 2020 at 9:42 pm

Hi Mircea,

Yes, and Beth as North made a somewhat conservative decision when she passed 2 spades when knowing both their partnership played a 14-16 !NT opening and partner only responded in a minimum manner when she refused to bid anything higher than 2 spades in response.

Another smaller clue for North to include is that NS were NV which tends to make a partnership slightly more conservative in making game tries. Finally, and this is me talking, not many others, but, if partner would have passed a game try (either 3 clubs or 3 spades), a contract of 8 tricks rates a consideration rather than contracting for 9.

However, no one can argue about the possibilities for game, but neither will I admit to their sequence not to be an overall reasonable one. Causing rise to agreeing to let others do the judging with the winner on that specific hand, whatever the result, being the chief.

Iain ClimieJune 23rd, 2020 at 11:20 pm

HI Bobby, Mircea,

Many years ago I used to play that an uncontested auction of 1N 2D / 2H (transfer) 2H / S then 3C / 3D was a game try at least but you could stop in 3 of a major. Now it seems to be Game Forcing in most circles. Any thoughts on which is better?


bobbywolffJune 24th, 2020 at 10:55 pm

Hi Iain,

Doesn’t sound wise to me, then restricting the only game non-invitation would be for the original 1NT bidder to rebid the agreed major suit at the three level

In truth though, since there is such a fine line between contracting for nine or ten tricks with close to game type hands, it really is not much of a loss whatever that partnership agrees to do, except if hearts is the long suit to then make three spades the sign-off.

Of course the former famous NewYorker magazine way back in the late twenties and early thirties, use to have “Webster” their cartoonist” draw a page of men and women. dressed to the nines in their tuxes and evening dresses bellow out either loudly or softly their bids, allowing partner to then judge, considering their own hand, but also listening carefully (checking the decibel level) to the loudness of their partner’s last bid before making the decision.

Seems like that method is at least as good as anything more modern, at least to what I’ve seen or should I say “heard”?