Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 24th, 2020


Bruce KarlsonAugust 7th, 2020 at 11:57 am

From the cheap seats: The column did not specify East’s play to trick one. If he is sleepy, and plays low, the Spade finesse can be taken normally. Further advantage in that case, is that the result would seriously demoralized the enemy going into the next board. New subject: would our esteemed host take that bid in that situation? I think I would do it non-vulnerable but not vul given the texture of my suit. A bid of three diamonds which might foul up the ops, seens more desirable. I usually play the two clubs in that situation is a relay diamonds which would work better I think. In any case, are there any rules that might help the great unwashed?

Iain ClimieAugust 7th, 2020 at 12:14 pm

HI Bruce,

Good point but you need to check EW’s lead methods first – what if they play strong 10s guaranteeing 2 higher honours? Assuming not, though, then you still have a problem. East wins SQ, leads DJ ducked all round, then plays a heart.



bobbywolffAugust 7th, 2020 at 2:43 pm

Hi Bruce,

While it is my fault for not mentioning that East should have and did play the diamond jack at trick one, I mistakenly took that unblocking play for granted, therefore adding confusion to the prospects.

When it is mentioned that “silence is golden” it pertains to hands like this, where the declarer, not his enemy, is the benefactor of that key information. Finally, when some competitive bid is described as having values, it most definitely refers to aces, kings and not balanced distributions, but usually does not necessarily apply to stray queens or less.

Finally, and generally almost always on point, defensive aggression by an opponent of a strong opening bid, sometimes, especially when the overcaller’s partner, not his LHO, has the majority of the left over values, decent playable distribution with a key honor or two to boot, either eventually buys a making contract or at the least pushes his stronger opponents one or more trick too high, or occasionally gets his partner off to the right lead, if the partner of the opening bidder, winds up as declarer, sometimes resulting in a plus score for his side.

Iain, What say you, are you a pussy cat or a bold warrior (with the wounds to prove it)?

Given a reasonable choice, I prefer aggression rather than being conservative, but both the vulnerabilities and the quality and general attitude of the specific opponents almost always become (or should) determining yea or nay to that bold venture.

No doubt Dame Fortune often plays a large part in the result, but seemingly and over a significant long time, it feels better to live or die with one’s boots on, rather than off.