Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 11th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoAugust 25th, 2020 at 10:20 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps South could have cashed his club winners before starting on hearts ( NS have six cards in clubs against seven in hearts so the percentage is for playing clubs and then hearts. )South is not bothered as long as West holds diamond K . If West does not ruff third heart, he is thrown in with trump and if he ruffs, he is endplayed anyway

Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2020 at 10:28 am

HI AVRR, Bobby,

I agree with the above but it could go wrong. Imagine West has 2C and 3H with East holding DK.



A V Ramana RaoAugust 25th, 2020 at 10:39 am

Hi lain
If hearts are 3-3 , south always makes the contract. West can ruff club and return diamond but south hops up with A and the long heart takes care of the losing diamond

Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2020 at 10:49 am


True double dummy but you don’t know that when West riffs the 3rd club and leads a diamond (which he will obviously do). If away from the K you have to run it unless H are 3-3. If East has the K you have to hope for H3-3 or a red suit squeeze on E but going up with the DA is a Vienna coup and the hand is now easy. If improbably W has DK and 4H, DA then running trumps will get him too.

Interesting possibilities!


Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2020 at 11:11 am

This is also a reminder to the defence NOT to automatically signal length honestly.


bobbywolffAugust 25th, 2020 at 3:33 pm

Hi AVRR & Iain,

As Ralph Edwards used to say on the1940’s American radio show, “Truth or Consequences” after a contestant had made himself victim to the consequences, “Aren’t we devils?”.

Iain has explained the possible guess coming up as for declarer between deciding whether it is more likely the hearts will break than East possessing the king of diamonds. This, in turn favors a defense which will together try and convince declarer where the cards are not (king of diamonds location or heartbreak).

Also Iain alludes to one of the oldest known and sometimes beautifully executed Vienna Coup of first helping establish a trick in the defensive hands (cashing the ace of diamonds first, allowing the king to be high) before then executing a squeeze by first unblocking (while then being in the right hand, allowing a Vienna Coup (traditionally first discovered in Vienna, Austria, likely around the early 1930s).

Ralph Edwards was right, but the devils are our beautiful game itself, BRIDGE. And again Iain is correct with declarer trying to outguess what the defense is doing and vice versa with declarer sitting in the “catbird” seat with the ultimate choice.

“Aren’t we Devils” or have I thought and heard that said before?