Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020


Iain ClimieJuly 15th, 2020 at 9:54 am

HI Bobby,

ON BWTA would balancing be quite as safe as it looks, even if partner hadn’t passed origginally? There are plenty of hands where RHO will have (say) 4441 or 5431 with short hearts and around a 13 count but will cheerfully pass 2H while HKx is potentially under the cosh and not worth much. RHO’s failure to raise (if the auction starts 2H P P) is also slightly ominous here, suggesting partner may have some length.



Bobby WolffJuly 15th, 2020 at 11:01 am

Hi Iain,

First, for the benefit of other readers, I imagine you meant to describe West, not East, who happens to be your LHO not RHO.

No doubt, what you surmise is on target, not that I necessarily agree that your hand, as South, is not barely good enough to enter with a TO double. While I do not disagree as to either your discourse or what the BWTA also suggests, but rather, I think it very close to a flat 50-50 choice.

Simply put, just make the winning choice, and go from there (but promise not to tell anyone if I goaded you to act and you shouldn’t have).

After all, there are advantages to not go quietly, both to be able to make something, or simply to drive a not so fitting opponent’s combination of cards to the nine trick level, greatly increasing your side’s chances of going plus rather than minus.

Not that I would, but neither would I think it wrong to either bid (double) or not, which according to the Bard, is the question.

Iain ClimieJuly 15th, 2020 at 12:18 pm

HI Bobby,

I was assuming that LHO was first in hand and 2H was passed round to me in 4th. I should have clarified that – sorry! I dare say I’d have bid at the table although I could be walking into a number.


Bobby WolffJuly 15th, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, thanks for the clarification to which I should have figured out earlier.

Obviously no guarantees by going either direction, with both eminent danger and at least partial+ success going both directions.

Perhaps it should be determined by the proposed habits of the specific opponents, if in fact some knowledge is held. In any event, these types of decisions, although ripe for action, are often instrumental in the overall success of many partnerships.

Furthermore, since, if the last sentence is correct there might be different strokes for different folks, proving that doing one thing onetime and then being inconsistent the next foray, may forever be required to being thoght a winning partnership, when playing against worthwhile opposition.

Besides, when perhaps not being clear as to what to do, it prevents serious critiques of whatever is decided at the table and tends to deny blemishes on one’s record….hardly a bad thing.

We all tend to make too many mistakes at the table, so why callously admit to them, especially when we can create excuses to wiggle.

angeloJuly 16th, 2020 at 10:03 am

Lovely quote “his little gray cells” from Agatha

Bobby WolffJuly 16th, 2020 at 5:36 pm

Hi Angelo,

No doubt, a “lovely and great quote” from Agatha.

However, more likely, wouldn’t you say?, to come from a female than a male?