Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 9th, 2020


Shantanu RastogiJuly 23rd, 2020 at 11:32 am

Hello Mr Wolff

You are correct this swindle should pay off most of the times. The only clue for west is east’s inability to bid 2 hearts which he should be regularly doing with 3 card support and some values.

Best regards

Shantanu Rastogi

Iain ClimieJuly 23rd, 2020 at 11:33 am

Hi Bobby,

3N is a very poor contract even with South holding a maximum with a 5 card suit. I know vulnerable games are essential at IMPs but even then North’s hand is hardly appealing, although CQ10 and/or the S10 instead of the S4 would make it worth the push. Would you have raised to 2N opposite (I assume) a 12-14 rebid with North’s hand at IMPs? At pairs I’m certainly passing.



bobbywolffJuly 23rd, 2020 at 12:03 pm

Hi Shantanu,

Yes, your evidence of “no raise from partner” is valid, particularly so if the opener tends to open all reasonably balanced hands of 15+ with 1NT.

However, sometimes a partner will take a view or perhaps suddenly get conservative, thus passing and then causing the defense to become unsure of normal inferences.

However, there is something blatant about the fall of the jack of hearts from declarer, which seems to cry out, “come on, I’m ripe for the slaughter”!

No doubt, a brilliant falsecard, especially if it is done in tempo or perhaps even a beat faster.
BTW, speaking of that, it does show the huge advantage of declarer, from the get go, totally into the hand, even before playing to the first trick.

Perhaps it is even worth mentioning gain coming for the declarer as early as partner laying down his hand, suit by suit, which might enable declarer to be ready to play a faster jack of hearts.

bobbywolffJuly 23rd, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Hi Iain,

I definitely agree that North should have passed 1NT, if for no other reason, than to make a fiercer effort to go plus by playing a seven trick contract rather than an eight.

Yes, I would also pass as North, his 1NT rebid at IMPs or rubber bridge as well, unless our opponents, while playing for money, are not up to snuff (but care needs to be taken to not divulge, in the manner of the Hideous Hog, such disrespect).

Better to pocket profits and at the same time, allowing the opponents to not feel bad, which in turn may encourage, from their perspective, the next encounter.

Keep in mind, gloating tends to eat into green.

bruce karlsonJuly 23rd, 2020 at 6:10 pm

What should partner attempt to convey on the K lead. Count or attitude?

bobbywolffJuly 23rd, 2020 at 11:30 pm

Hi Bruce,

Unfortunately, I believe attitude would be the majority answer, meaning the four, not the nine from East. Of course that would be consistent with upside down count, but trying to figure out what method is best will become like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

However, even while playing normal count signals and then playing the nine, would, at least my guess, cause the opening leader to still continue hearts, thinking that his partner forgot what they were playing as more likely since the appearance of the jack is just too loud a noise for West to overcome..

Sort of kidding, but if forced to bet, that thought, would likely come to pass more often than not (IMO). What do you think?

Bruce KarlsinJuly 24th, 2020 at 10:09 am

I try to figure out what partner needs to know and play accordingly. With a garnish that I likely lack 3 from the auction, think I would play the 4 using standard count. Then, insofar as S “denied” 4S, the shift should be easy…