Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 22nd, 2020


A V Ramana RaoSeptember 5th, 2020 at 9:47 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Very well Played by Pavlicek. Even doubledummy, it would be difficult to spot the play and to get it on the table, kudos to Pavlicek. Luckily for south, he held both eight and seven of hearts else he could have been defeated as West can retain three hearts and east three clubs in the ending

bobbywolffSeptember 5th, 2020 at 2:06 pm


Yes indeed, Richard Pavlicek has been one of the very best players in the world for a long time, my experience with first meeting and then playing against him, as a very young man, and even then being uplifted with both his talent and his game love in 1971 during the Atlanta Vanderbilt.

He has also been a total credit to our game with both his positive attitude and his superior active ethics, marking him as an American pioneer with helping our wonderful game to remain unparalleled as the top mind competition ever.

Also thanks to you for always offering very helpful analysis, an important advantage to others who take our game seriously.

Richard himself, will greatly and, of course deserviedly, appreciate it.

Bill CubleySeptember 5th, 2020 at 3:21 pm


RP has the best website on bridge with plenty of material for all levels of players at He welcomes questions and has a sense of humor. I remember a long ago San Francisco nationals when I walked by the Vanderbilt area and saw no kibitzers at the table. I quickly took a good seat in wonder why no one else thought to kibitz him or Bill Root. It was well worth watching as they scored well on part score defense board after board.

btw I posted an article on slow play on Bridgewinners. I hope you like it if you read it. hint hint

David WarheitSeptember 5th, 2020 at 5:28 pm

There was a way to defeat Pavlicek. All W had to do on opening lead was lead a small H. I wonder why he didn’t find that? (Joke).

bobbywolffSeptember 5th, 2020 at 11:50 pm

Hi Bill,

OK, I read your article and some number (methinks large) would agree with you, certainly on your general theme, but perhaps also your method or methods.

However, by so doing, it will serve a purpose or purposes, but like most discussions or better explained, disagreements will overwhelm a large majority

Reasons being of why slowness is so prevalent in tournament bridge
are too numerous to count, but let’s give it a try:

1. Trying to play the best bridge possible and thus infringing on your subject.

2. Playing with a good player who, at some time or another, will want to discuss a few boards (90% of which are poor results with the other 10%, he controlled.

3. Rules for slow play can and are interpreted in different ways by officials of the league, ACBL & WBF as well as around the world

4. A player does not want to look like a fool and he doesn’t regard being chastised for slow play a disgrace.

5. His or her mind wanders and he then sometimes has trouble remembering the contract,much less how to defend or play it.

6. He wants to impress an opponent, if and when he makes a good play or even when he doesn’t, when that opponent doesn’t know what day it is.

7. He doesn’t have anything better to do at that time and thus thinks he has a right to be as slow as he wants to be.

8. His mind matches his age, which in this day and time is considerable.

9.While his real thoughts go to many other subjects, he only is ready to play when his brain stops at his corner, which is one of many stopped corners along the path.

IOW you are 100% right, but the only solution is similar to expecting players (particularly good ones) to stop cheating to which Mark Twain had the best comment. Something like “Everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it”.

And as of this exact day, what do you think will change so many of what America is so victimized by, simply different cultures and/or different anythings will only talk about love instead of hate, but in the end, the world has never solved those types of differences, even involving wonderful life and/or horrific deaths, so why give any hope to your desires unless you can declare martial law and elect yourself KING, and even then, you better watch your back or you will soon be replaced or worse.

bobbywolffSeptember 5th, 2020 at 11:56 pm

Hi David,

The long ago brilliant English bridge player) wrote in his major book, Winning Defense, “If a very average player got off to the right lead on every hand he was the leader, he would win every World Bridge Championship”.

After all these years I wouldn’t think of disagreeing with him.

bobbywolffSeptember 6th, 2020 at 12:05 am

Hi again, David,

Apologies for my ridiculous mistakes.

The author was John Brown around 1939. Next time I’ll overcome just one of my faults, signing off before proof reading,

Joe1September 7th, 2020 at 1:17 am

Slow play, in bridge or in golf, or in other competitions, is a form of narcissism, overt illegal gamesmanship, or the sign of a complete newbie (rarely the case). Tournament directors should be informed, of course, but social ostracism can help too. Don’t be shy, don’t let this pass without comment. The word will get out. If you don’t, you’re an enabler, from my perspective.