Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 3rd, 2020


Iain ClimieJuly 17th, 2020 at 9:47 am

HI Bobby,

Should South be cashing the CJ if he thinks the C10 is a true card? West has led S7 then 8 so could have SJ87 when he’ll ruff the CJ and now South is in trouble I think. Ruffing a small club then returning to hand with a top trump seems better although not if clubs are 3-3 of course.

Any thoughts?



Bobby WolffJuly 17th, 2020 at 4:02 pm

Hi Iain,

Since the nine of clubs is with the defense, a false card of the ten was more of a possibility, then making the hand easy, which you, of course, have already indirectly mentioned.

Of course, there was a good reason for East to reduce to the singleton ace of diamonds, predicting the original lie of the cards (which methinks a top East would and should have done).

However, a keen declarer, especially at a local bridge club, where the players learn to know each other, will, from trick one on, keep a careful eye, as the play progresses, on visualizing the original layout and once the K of clubs is doubleton with West, likely will come to realize that he would have been tempted and then succombed with his 2-4-5-2 distribution to overcall a simple diamond (if holding the ace), therefore selecting the winning line of play

Yes. fairly complex, but as you know and consistently practice, it is where the money is when declaring as well as for imaginative defense in the form of East shortening his diamond holding to the singleton ace, but then giving up to good declarer play, if West holds the jack of diamonds to go with his queen (could be effected by the opening 1NT range of NS).

No doubt, a typical battle of bridge minds, carefully attuned to visualizing the original hands (for both sides) based on the trick for trick play, the bidding, and the underrated part, the competence and experience of all three of the active players.

And is the above somewhat effected by virtual play instead of face to face, now suggested by some (primarily caused by the world pandemic)? My guess is an emphatic YES together with an equally emphatic YES for such a change to take away (or at least lessen) the talent, learned through the years of better guessing the location of key cards while sitting at the same table, rather than many miles apart.

Should we steal (or somewhat) an abridged line from Shakespeare, “The plays the game wherein we will get the the conscience of the king” (and where the key card lies, but only while sitting at the same table).