Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, September 17th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoOctober 1st, 2020 at 12:37 pm

Hi Dear Mr. Wolff
Quite imaginative defense from West. But just wondering, if dummy runs six clubs after winning the lead, West must precisely retain three spades, bare Q of hearts and two diamonds to beat the contract ( south of course discards diamonds)) But in practice, how many Wests would find that defense of baring Q of hearts?

Michael BeyroutiOctober 1st, 2020 at 1:11 pm

Dear Host,
I must be missing something. If South takes his queen of spades he comes to 9 tricks: 2 spades, a heart and six clubs. What am I missing?

Bobby WolffOctober 1st, 2020 at 2:28 pm

Hi AVRR & Michael,

The line of play the defense took neglected to explain the proper end game wherein the defense after arranging for the 10 of spades to be led through declarer, then whichever opponent won the 10 of spades through declarer, a heart needed to be switched to, developing the setting trick for the defense.

Michael, it wasn’t you who missed something, it was us in failing to describe the heart switch.

And furthermore, at the time of doing so, it should not be difficult since to not, is tantamount to giving up with declarer certain to have 6 clubs tricks awaiting, enough to score up his aggressive contract.

Sorry for our monstrous omission.

Jeff SOctober 1st, 2020 at 7:35 pm

Now I’m confused. The defense takes the QH at trick 2, then then the KD with two more spades and a diamond to come without declarer being able to get in. That’s five right there. So, what am I missing?

Bobby WolffOctober 1st, 2020 at 9:40 pm

Hi Michael, Jeff S and AVRR

The original text did explain it right and is clear that declarer never got a spade trick, since West never led away from his king of spades until his partnership had 5 defensive tricks.

Sorry for the confusion, but give EW credit for reading the defense correctly.

And to AVRR, basically East had little choice but to bare his heart queen as he definitely needed to keep his other cards in tact.