Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, August 7th, 2020


jim2August 21st, 2020 at 11:36 am

I was at the bar reading, when the Hog showed at my elbow, snorting in misery as he drained my glass.

“I needed a drink after that last Board,” he muttered, courteously offering me my glass. “Let me show you.”

Grabbing my broker statement that I had put down to take back my now-empty glass, he scribbled out the same hand as the one in this column. “I expected a clear top,” he continued. “After all, how many of this lot” — he nodded at the playing room — “were up to executing a show-up squeeze?”

He sighed again, though perhaps it was because he saw no other drinks within reach.

“But no, it was a barely an average.” His eyes steeled in anger at Fate. “The Walrus simply drew trump, finessed a spade, and ruffed the third round. I always establish my long suit, ” that’s what he said.

A passing waiter was deftly relieved of a drink from his tray.

“And the Rabbit,” he grunted, placing the empty on another passing tray. “He cashed the top spades, went to ruff the third round, and his ears shot straight up in shock when East discarded a club.

“He was so scared that he played three rounds of trump, accidentally ending on the Board. He was so undone that he could not remember how many trump had been played.”

“He finally decided that since RHO had not ruffed the first time, maybe he could sneak another one past him, and so he called for Dummy’s last low spade. East again discarded – he had no trump anyway, of course – and the Rabbit triumphantly ruffed again. When the spade queen fell, it was all over.”

I nodded in sympathy. “But that should still should have been tie for top,” I said.

The barman took my nod for a refill request.

The Hog shook his head as he took possession of my new drink as it arrived. “They were doubled, of course.”

“Of course,” I agreed as my drink disappeared down his capacious gullet. The Rabbit and the Walrus usually needed to have sixteen iron-clad tricks to take twelve, so they were always doubled in slams. “Bad luck, indeed.”

Michael BeyroutiAugust 21st, 2020 at 12:43 pm

Jim2, Victor Mollo would be proud of you!
How’s your online Slush Cup going on?

jim2August 21st, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Michael Beyrouti –


Of course, the Walrus did not even notice that he did not need to ruff the third spade …


A V Ramana RaoAugust 21st, 2020 at 2:20 pm

Hi Jim2
Compliments for a compelling narrative but perhaps you forgot about TOCM spoiling the party. Two of west’s diamonds migrate to east and trumps are 3-1 with West holding three to J.
Just in lighter vein

jim2August 21st, 2020 at 2:21 pm

A V Ramana Rao –

Lucky for them I was in the bar!

A V Ramana RaoAugust 21st, 2020 at 2:24 pm

And I particularly liked the last para: having sixteen iron clad …….
It is like to make a person answer which day of the week it is, you need to give him eight chances

Iain ClimieAugust 21st, 2020 at 3:08 pm

Cheers Jim2, improved my day no end!


bobbywolffAugust 21st, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Hi Jim2 & AVRR,

Just because Victor has obviously bequeathed his legacy to Jim2 doesn’t automatically mean that bridge learning has gone from 8 ever, 9 never to 7 ever, 8 never or does it?

No doubt that someone we know is challenging Helen Keller for the Lower Slobbovian (LS) Handicapped of the Year Bridge Award.

However, at least up to now, another LS award, attributed to the Rabbit, is given to the player who took the most practice finesses (unneeded and thus unnecessary finesses, but still taken to just see whether one’s finesses are working).

Some thought to be good players are missing important theoretical psychological advantages by disdaining terrible plays, to which, when they work (almost 100%) they thoroughly demoralize the opposition which some swear the effect lasts for many years during stupid (I know that description is not necessary) head to head competition.

And to AVRR, it seems this horrible pandemic has indeed eliminated the eighth day of the week, sometimes called bridge day, to which all of us can join together and shout “ENOUGH” in honor of what used to be, and only crossing our fingers that our game (particularly the ftof variety) will return shortly, if at all!

Thanks Jim2 for your timely masterpiece. That is until Victor’s estate sends news of their law suit, not to mention my soon to arrive commission charge for using my space to create entertainment, a brand new, soon to be approved, USA law.

A V Ramana RaoAugust 21st, 2020 at 3:37 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Yes, it is high time for this dreaded horrific pandemic called Corona to exit this planet restoring normalcy. Sooner the better . Hope the day is not far off and cheers will prevail
Best regards