Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 25th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoJuly 9th, 2020 at 10:27 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
As the cards lay, five clubs appears to be cold ( the power of four four fit over six one) but is there any mechanism of reaching there?

jim2July 9th, 2020 at 11:11 am

Drawing trump yields 11 tricks whenever spades are 3-3 or 4-2, so I suspect very few declarers would play clubs first at matchpoints since either a club ruff or heart forces would then limit declarer to only 10 tricks.

That is, clubs first would yield a top in 5-1 splits (15%), a bottom in 4-2 and 3-3 ones (84%), and probably an average when 6-0 (1%).

Iain ClimieJuly 9th, 2020 at 1:12 pm

HI Folks,

I wonder if anyone bashed 3N on the South hand? Mind you it isn’t a pairs success today even if spades behave. I suppose South could bid 3C N 3D S 3S but North may stilm not fancy 5C which a 4-1 trump break might make precarious, and that is more likely than 5-1 spades.

Very good teams problem playing 4S though.



Bobby WolffJuly 9th, 2020 at 5:52 pm

Hi AVRR, Jim2, & Iain,

First AVRR, my opinion as to how many would bid this hand to 5 clubs would be a matchpoint player who was involved in the dealing or duplicating of this board, and furthermore one who was not proficient enough to play 4 spades correctly.

Second Jim2, my guess is that your percentages for success are right on, which no doubt, even when playing IMPs (or rubber bridge) would be a reasonable incentive not to play the hand at 5 clubs either, since the overtrick worth a very small advantage plus, of course, the horror of a bad club break would more than overcome its desire to make your partnership famous (or infamous, as the case may be).

Finally Iain, for South to bash 3NT over partner’s normal response of 1NT to your 1 spade opening bid would likely garner some support, but if so, would, at least to me, garner its just dessert this time. a deserved horror.

Imagination is often a plus but too much of, advances geometrically instead of arithmetically
making that speed much more harmful than likely originally thought.

However, if one desperately needed a top (how anyone could be sure, I do not know) but if possible, then “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead”!

Alas, has anyone ever measured “having fun at your partner’s expense”? Perhaps many who have since gotten divorces, real or bridge.