Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 6th, 2020


Steve ConradAugust 20th, 2020 at 11:15 am

The final line of your “Bid With The Aces” question made my stomach ache with laughter. Brilliant! ROFL

bobbywolffAugust 20th, 2020 at 1:52 pm

Hi Steve,

Loved your comment.

In reality, Frank is one of my best friends in life as well as, of course, in the bridge world and above all a great and most feeling parent, benefactor, care giver and overall great man.

If I ever named one person to be a role model, he, no doubt, would fit that bill, suggesting that, yes, while playing bridge naturally rates very high on my list, merely being an outstanding citizen and always opting for the common good ranks right up there with it, only likely (don’t tell anyone) even slightly superior.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to single him out and don’t be a stranger to write often.

Iain ClimieAugust 20th, 2020 at 4:07 pm

HI Bobby,

A ckunter-intuitive but absolutely logical play hand today although credit to East. If he bids 3C, West will surely lead one and South has no problems. Having said that, what if NS missed the slam as a result of the intervention?



Frank StewartAugust 20th, 2020 at 6:32 pm

You are so very gracious. Such kind comments coming from a person of your stature mean the world to me.
All the best to you and Judy. And the next time I recommended a questionable bid in my column, you can be sure I will write that I’m basing it on advice by you! Stay well.
Frank S.

Iain ClimieAugust 20th, 2020 at 7:21 pm

Hi Frank,

I just looked you up and liked this: . Hello from the far side of the pond and I enjoyed both the style and content.



bobbywolffAugust 20th, 2020 at 11:07 pm

Hi Iain,

Since you have recently stated that you both like and admire famous phrases or close, possibly one can almost always apply to West’s lead, especially against a small slam in spades.

“Everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it” (I believe Mark Twain).

Opening leads often determine bridge events and crown champions, but what to lead is more often than not a real, almost impossible, challenge, with player’s luck tightly attached.

Such as today, where a heart lead is necessary for any chance to defeat the slam, but why to lead it, remains up to discussion, with no apparent runaway winner.

However, and I think Frank will agree, the only reason for today’s column begins after the spade slam is bid and the heart lead is made.

Such is life from Franks and my viewpoint, without which too many virtually non-learning unimportant words will be necessary to run our columns much too long and at least, somewhat boring to read.

My bridge thoughts go to why bridge discussions like the only winning line of play at the spade slam is counter intuitive (sorry Iain for stealing your thunder), and I sincerely think that this logic involved by declarer will help a young student later in life and thus certainly worth an inclusion during a young person’s first 11 years of schooling (starting at 5-7 years of age). Thus I am totally in favor of following suit to much of Europe and all of China (to which country, 200 million school age children right there including bridge as an elective in primary schools).

Thanks for allowing me this commercial.

bobbywolffAugust 20th, 2020 at 11:21 pm

Hi Frank,

You have now given my favorite bridge devotees a great thrill by your hello.

Thanks for tuning in and allowing my group to hear from such a famous bridge name who has given back so much to our favorite game, plus your personal life to which you have brought so much love into this world.

I’ll also vouch for Iain’s comments and especially his attempted English since, after all he lives very close to England, but either in or near Scotland.

Finally, who ever heard of instead leading a club against a suit contract when holding only a singleton and otherwise worthless trump and your partner only bidding them once, a mere opening preempt?

Joe1August 20th, 2020 at 11:24 pm

BWTA nice hand my first intuition was to pass, without too much thought, but it’s a column hand….think, why not pre-emt? Of course, then as you say if it blows up, blame an expert…Which gets to my suggestion, looking at these column hands over the years, there sure is a lot of art and skill, even psychology, behind preemptive bids. Maybe a week of “theme hands” on this topic?

Frank StewartAugust 21st, 2020 at 12:12 am

Mr. Climie,
Thanks for your post, sir, and all the best to you.
Frank S.

bobbywolffAugust 21st, 2020 at 12:15 am

Hi Joe1,

Try playing winning bridge from these tenets:

1. Learning to bid as a partnership, eventually to reach the right contract a good percentage of the time.

2. Become tough opponents as a partnership, since if they play as well as they can, your pair, almost regardless of how efficient you become,
will be hard pressed to break even, since they will have learned to also be tough opponents, which means taking calculated risks in order for your side to not have the room to be as formidable as your side would prefer.

3. Finally and summing up, if a pair, no matter how good they become, even World Champions, are faced with roadblocks and lesser room to make all the bids they want, they will falter much more often than most think. Without which, their partnership will have you for dinner and no competitors want that to happen. Ergo, bid ’em high and hopefully let them, not you, sleep in the streets.

Bridge is a game wherein it is next to impossible for either the opponents or your side to be anywhere near sure that they can stop and double your side, (unless they are luckily dealt a trump stack) and even then the player who doesn’t have the stack may bid something, allowing your side out of the damage. Also, most doubles mean something other than penalties.

Of course, the above doesn’t occur on every hand or even once in three hands, but that protection is always going to be part of the game, and not to take advantage of it, is a very sad way to not even have a fighting chance to win.