Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, June 13th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoJune 27th, 2020 at 12:52 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But perhaps east could have achieved same result ie defeat of the contract by covering nine of spades. South wins, leads diamond to K in dummy and ruffs a diamond, leads a club to dummy for ruffing a heart ( after the fall of eight on first round, he knows the exact trump layout) leads last club to dummy but now east will not cover and south has to lose a trump trick in the end

A V Ramana RaoJune 27th, 2020 at 12:55 pm

What I meant is east will not play K when trump deuce is led from dummy. Pl ignore ” now east will not cover” . He has no option but will cover with four

A V Ramana RaoJune 27th, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Sorry for the gaffe , since a heart has been ruffed already, south manages the contract . Sometimes brain gets foggy for no reason resulting in blindspots

MirceaJune 27th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

If I was East, TOCM(R) would have quickly traded one of declarer’s small trumps for one of West’s small hearts and make me look like a fool by playing a club at trick 4. Is there a solution?

bobbywolffJune 27th, 2020 at 4:24 pm


As a bridge columnist for many years (38 with my byline) I will now revert to excuse #6 (forgetting the order of both the text and the subject of the first 5), bridge is a tough game.

Particularly the defense, since only 13 instead of all 26 assets held are not immediately in sight. Declarer play is some varying percentage easier, since he or she is blessed with not having that handicap.

However, the last thing you should be embarrassed about is speaking up when you suspect there is a flaw in the explanation. The worst that can happen is that others may then get a look and by doing so, at the very least, understand the concept with the result after checking, making them a bit better for future use by them whether or not the first explanation was right or not so.

On a similar topic (likely not so thought by many) the worldwide race to a vaccine for the now dreaded Covid19 virus makes us all wonder about all the obstacles which need solving, before success can be achieved and why it takes so long, but rather than know the details (to which likely only specially knowledgeable medical experts are privy) makes all of us only, at the best, valuable as those who only wait and hope, but the above bridge concept is one that you understand, and talk of your brain being foggy is a gross exaggeration.

Especially so since you, like not so many others, grasp the possibility of the coup effect, something a huge percentage of bridge enthusiasts did not know even existed.

Finally, thanks much for your support and you and others (certainly including me) are only entitled to 1000 more apologized gaffes before extinction day.

bobbywolffJune 27th, 2020 at 4:40 pm

Hi Mircea,

While your TOCM trade could be a medical reality it, though creating an entirely lesser chance of success for NS would also have resulted in a different final contract since South, having then only a balanced ten count would not have opened the bidding, besides allowing only a possible NT game (made but likely not bid) all the above drifting into only supposition.

Of course, that 3NT bid and made would only have occurred against Jim2. And fie on ones who say at least some publicity (even negative) is better than none at all.

jim2June 27th, 2020 at 5:01 pm

What if East ducks the opening lead?

ClarksburgJune 27th, 2020 at 5:09 pm

Speaking of Covid, restrictions, at-risk seniors, revenues from Clubs etc:
Will ACBL survive all this ?

bobbywolffJune 27th, 2020 at 6:22 pm

Hi Jim2,

Yes, by my hasty opinion, with your defensive (rhymes with ducking) intended defensive gambit, down declarer would go, but as a strict English translation I would score it up, by initially winning the king of diamonds (at trick one) in dummy, take a deep spade finesse, back to dummy in clubs for another trump finesse, cash the ace of spades, back to dummy in clubs and then continuing high clubs, tossing my diamond loser on the fourth club and scoring up (as declarer ruffs in) my almost lay down spade game.

Yes, you deserve some major kudos for your vivid imagination, but possibly need to work on your explanation, SED TM (specific explanatory defense), not to mention playing cards out of turn, but this time I will accept it, without penalty.

jim2June 27th, 2020 at 6:26 pm

Ah, if declarer plays the KD, East wins that – such strictness not allowed!!! SED, indeed! 🙂

(because, of course, the idea is to deprive a diamond dummy entry.)

bobbywolffJune 27th, 2020 at 6:43 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Yes, I think bridge will survive, but, depending on how long, if ever, an effective vaccine will need to be discovered for Covid19.

As far as the ACBL is concerned, the hourglass is now in effect to determine how long it will be before FtoF bridge returns, since any kind of either online or four room bridge will have a very short shelf life due to in order, overt cheating, and then IMO anti-societal set ups, even eventually for the very top world class players, at least in the long run, since in the past, par contests, never really were a threat to captivate anyone for long.

The above is a very dangerous parlay, with both of the above, at least to me, pivotal for eventual continuation (at least as we have come to expect it).