Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, June 12th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoJune 26th, 2020 at 10:35 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
I think south can have even more fun. Win the lead and lead club. West ducks, dummy wins and runs heart J. West wins and leads another spade. South ducks, wins next spade and runs hearts squeezing West in three suits. Perhaps West would wish that he were not dealt those precise cards. As Bobby Fischer used to say ” See them squirm”

David WarheitJune 26th, 2020 at 11:53 am

Slight error in your analysis. You say S wins 9 tricks if W plays CA at trick 2. No, he wins 10 tricks–2S, 2H, 2D & 4C, different tricks but the same result as in AV’s line.

jim2June 26th, 2020 at 12:15 pm

At our table in the Mud Cup, 1S doubled was the final contract.

1) JH to AH
2) KH
3) 6H – ruffed with North’s singleton 7S
4) KC – AC
5) KS (hoping for singleton QS) – AS
6) QD – KD – AD
7) QC – 6D pitched by S
8) JD
9) D – ruffed
10) AS still to come

Defense took 9 tricks, declarer took 4.

+800 for E-W

Iain ClimieJune 26th, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Hi Jim2, Bobby, folks,

Clearly West was putting his neck on the block, especially as the bid removed little bidding space, but it was lead directional. It told the bidder he should lead a spade vs 3NT ….

Flippancy aside, how sensible or otherwise was that 1S bid, and not just based on the Mud Cup result? I suspect I’d have bid it so that may be condemnation enough.



bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 3:29 pm


All true! However “See them squirm” is a bit unsportsmanlike and worse, unlike Bobby Fischer, while competing in chess, those specific opponents with matchpoints in bridge are your teammates on every other round (to which you play similar hands), either getting you at least 1/2 a matchpoint, a full point, or allowing their opponents to give you a zero, at least on that hand.

“Keep ’em happy” when they leave your table, not with the results they achieve, but with their partnership confidence and optimism for the immediate future.

While either none or very little of the above is done or even thought about doing, it still is better for one’s own health to be good winners, since perhaps lady luck is listening and we all know that she favors the “nice players”. Yeah???? fat chance!

bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Hi David,

No doubt!

I need to learn, in order to be a more accurate analyst, to add a + mark to the number of tricks taken, instead of carelessly just stating the contract number.

It does occur much too often to take it for granted or, in bridge terms, to just slough it off, if for no other reason than at matchpoints, it becomes extremely important.


A V Ramana RaoJune 26th, 2020 at 3:42 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
” See them squirm” was strictly in a lighter sense without meaning any hard feelings to the opponents. Only to make the situation a little dramatic

bobbywolfJune 26th, 2020 at 3:54 pm

Hi Jim2,

Bravo! Another top while compiling a 75%+ game.

However, an all points review is now in progress, trying to determine how the 1 spade doubled final contract unfolded.

I’ll guess, 1 club, Pass, 1 heart, 1 spade, Pass, Pass, Double, all pass, sure it did. Only at the Mud Cup would that happen (unless NS got hold of the hand records and the meanings of double were very old-fashioned).

Even with those strictures of site and system it is doubtful to impossible, but one has to attend that tournament at least once, to believe.

bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 4:03 pm

Hi Iain,

No, this time you get a pass as well, since I think, at this time with the development of high-level
bridge, most everyone would slide with one spade when sitting West.

After all, even in bridge columns, EW have to live too and bidding at the one level has a lot to recommend it. If nothing else, an opponent’s double is almost always for TO and sometimes partner will live up to his responsibility and, at the very least, provide a little more than he had.

bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 4:13 pm


You do not have to apologize since I could name an endless number of players I would love to see fit your description.

Starting with every bridge cheat (past, present and very sadly, even future)) who ever roamed the earth, with that number in itself more than most could or would, even dream.

Iain ClimieJune 26th, 2020 at 5:01 pm


There is an old saying “You cannot play chess (well) if you are kind-hearted.



jim2June 26th, 2020 at 5:24 pm

Dear Host –

I would note that I never disclosed whether I was N, E, S, or W.

bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 6:51 pm

Hi Iain & AVRR,

Wouldn’t Iain’s proposed message be better worded if it read, “You cannot play chess well if you are not hearted-in-kind”.

bobbywolffJune 26th, 2020 at 6:59 pm

Hi Jim2,

Knowing your modesty you were either N or S.

Knowing your TOCM TM you were either E or W.

Knowing your compassion you were only kibitzing.