Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 2nd, 2020


ClarksburgAugust 16th, 2020 at 3:57 pm

Hello Bobby
Matchpoints. Both VUL.
After two Passes your RHO opens 1 Spade.
What is your recommended action holding:
1) A A109 A54 1098742
2) A104 AQ2 62 J9854

ClarksburgAugust 16th, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Hand #2 was Dealer and passed, followed by two passes.
So RHO’s 1 Spade bid was fourth seat after three passes.

Iain ClimieAugust 16th, 2020 at 7:14 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

For what it is worth I’m biding 2C (badly cut suit and all) on the first hand and passing on hand 2.

I’ll await the more authoritative answer with interest but I can’t see I’m going anywhere with (2) and it might be a mistake to bid on (1) – after all I don’t want partner leading a C from CKx if he’s on lead, although I suspect I will be against 3S or something like that. There again CJ form Jx against 3N and we’ve got them in trouble potentially.

When you’ve had Bobby’s reply, can you fill in all the details?

Regards (and I hope you’re well),


bobbywolffAugust 16th, 2020 at 8:45 pm

Hi Clarksburg.

1. With hand #1 I would double (and at all vulnerabilities).

2. With hand #2 I would pass when vulnerable, but overcall 2 clubs, if not. Of course if RHO had opened 1 diamond instead of 1 spade I would now, as a passed hand,
double under all vulnerabilities..

bobbywolffAugust 16th, 2020 at 9:04 pm

Hi Iain,

Obviously close since, although I love the singleton spade, I would prefer the spade ace to be cut up and distributed among any of the other suits, preferably hearts.

I agree, to what you fear, but feel that I should enter the bidding and, if doubled, for partner to have the honor (or should that one n be two r’s.) of playing it.

While confessing that I would probably do likewise at IMPs, I am glad that we are playing matchpoints, since we all need partners to finish the session.

And what is that authoritative annotation all about since I may have the record for both 4 digit sets taken and being psychically pummeled, but wise enough to usually only be turning the dummy, and sadly, not a swift runner.

JeffSAugust 17th, 2020 at 3:39 am

Hi Bobby,

On Big Hand’s question, if partner responds to 2C with a positive 2H bid, how would you go about exploring for a spade slam?

Thanks as always!

bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2020 at 4:12 am

Hi JeffS,

Something very simple, but so necessary. First a mere 2 spades and then over 3 of something by partner, another rebid of 3 spades.

At that point, both partners should expect spades to be the eventual trump suit and since the opener did not jump to 4 spades, he would like his partner to cue bid an ace (or, of course, a side void). If the responder then just raises to 4 spades that should be the final contract, but if partner bids 4 hearts then the opener should prefer a 5 club control bid asking partner for diamond control. So if partner has a singleton diamond then he could cue bid that which would deny 1st round control but be either a singleton (with a couple of spades to boot) or the king, or else he might ask for aces if he made up his mind to bid a small slam with a combination of three first round controls and diamonds also protected.

The big hand should NEVER ask for aces when he is looking at 2 losers in one suit, not protected to which no one has bid them from his side. That would be a serious error deserving much talk for that partnership before the next time they plan on playing.

He could then also prefer 6NT to get a lead up to his king of diamonds, if he had other assets such as the king of hearts, the KQ of diamonds or the queen of clubs.

Nothing ironclad, but still scientific enough to pass muster.