Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, July 7th, 2020


Joe1July 22nd, 2020 at 12:14 am

It goes without saying, S thought this though before playing first card from dummy, if a pause after E plays it’s a giveaway. Planning ahead and then exercising nonchalant tempo is a skill that novices should master. If not they will learn the hard way. I like these “theme” weeks, and in this one the pause, or lack there of, is part of the enjoyment.

Iain ClimieJuly 22nd, 2020 at 9:06 am

Hi Joe 1,

Good point and this sort of hand also shows the benefits of homework – the more of these sort of plays (and appropriate suit combination plays) which you’ve seen at home, the less time and effort are required at the table. An awful lot of the game is about pattern recognition although there are subtle traps e.g. with Axx opposite KQ109x for 5 tricks play the Ace first to guard against 5-0 onside; it is all to tempting to confuse it with Axxx opposite KQ109x where the King or Queen is clearly right.



Iain ClimieJuly 22nd, 2020 at 9:12 am

Sorry should read …. too tempting. Finger trouble, rather than brain trouble (I hope).

bobbywolffJuly 22nd, 2020 at 5:05 pm

Hi Joe1 & Iain,

Your comments about tempo are on target and often play key factors, especially when that tempo break is taken by declarer.

However, at least on this hand, if declarer held only the Ax or Axx in hearts he still may have a legitimate reason to think before playing to trick one, therefore dame fortune was being kind to him with the result of his very clever ruse having a better chance to pay off.

Of course here is a good time to point out that intentionally trying to mislead a defender by declarer or the other way around of a defender doing the same thing to declarer, (without, of course, any legitimate real excuse, such as only the played card left in his hand) is not ethical and subject both to score adjustment and even other and more severe discipline.

Also, Iain, you should not worry, at your young and tender age, of having brain trouble, since it may be obvious you were trying to give your opponent the finger, which, if winning the ace, you would likely succeed (at least, so to speak).

Iain ClimieJuly 22nd, 2020 at 7:03 pm

HI Bobby,

Thanks but young and tender is relative as I’m 62. I attempt to appear more youthful by displays of immaturity.