Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020


A V Ramana RaoOctober 7th, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Hi Dear Mr. Wolff
It is not understandable why Kokish cashed club K, the only entry card to hand. But even had he preserved that card, and leads spade A and another spade.( If east held all the missing spades, south can never make the contract. )and after West wins and if he shifts to a heart, south should play him for K of heart and let it ride to the Q in hand . If he plays heart A , comes to hand with K of clubs, continues clubs pitching a heart and a diamond ( West refuses to ruff for obvious reasons) . Now when south plays a spade, West wins and returns heart . If dummy ruffs, he can draw trump but due to the block in diamond suit, he goes down as he needs to concede trick to K of hearts while diamond winner languishes in dummy
It only shows that even seasoned players can have blind spots

A V Ramana RaoOctober 7th, 2020 at 12:42 pm

My point is, even after the mistake of cashing club K , south could have prevailed had he won the heart return with Q in hand and played another spade and defense cannot do anything to stop south from scoring the game

Bobby WolffOctober 7th, 2020 at 2:50 pm


All you say is correct, but since I was a player on the Nickell team (but was sitting out this session) and benefited from his gaffe, I will not look a gift horse in the mouth.

Both the road to success or failure are both marked with good plays and bad, all these years later, at least most of them become lost in antiquity, never to be thought of again, with perhaps this one, likely thought by Eric, to be hopefully included.

Iain ClimieOctober 7th, 2020 at 3:04 pm

HI Bobby,

Can I ask what you would have led as West at T1? To beat the contract, East probably needs to come up with a trick somewhere (although not if the HK is going to make and South had SAJx(x) or J9x(x) when anything will do) so a diamond seems sensible to me despite the trump stack. I know how some of my leads have worked out over the years, though!



Iain ClimieOctober 7th, 2020 at 3:05 pm

OK, not the S10 or S8, and probably not the SK but you know what I mean!

Bobby WolffOctober 7th, 2020 at 7:30 pm

Hi Iain,

I must confess to the nine of clubs. With such good spades, I am not interested in hoping for a spade ruff and to lead a singleton diamond (instead of a club) is, at least to me, a greater chance to somewhat mess up my partner’s diamond holding (since possessing a singleton,
it appears more likely to do damage to my partner’s diamond holding, my forcing him to play third hand, rather than second or fourth).

Not much to go on, but trying to play the percentages, at least the way I see them, instead of the opposite fluctuation.

However, flucked the wrong way, and so it often goes.

David WarheitOctober 8th, 2020 at 8:12 am

AV: Without going into all of your comment, I will point out that the CK is not the only entry to S’s hand. When E led a D at trick 2, S wins with his 9, preserving the DA as an entry. Yes, W can ruff the second D, but after S wins D9 and plays SA and another S, W wins, but since he (W) has HK, he can’t stop declarer from getting to his hand to lead another S.

Iain ClimieOctober 8th, 2020 at 9:11 am

HI David,

By this stage, though, aren’t the defence getting 2S, the CA and a D ruff?



David WarheitOctober 8th, 2020 at 1:58 pm

Iain: No, they are not. To get a D ruff, E has to win a trick (or S has to play a D before drawing trump, which of course he isn’t about to do). Of the 4 tricks you mention, all are won by W except for the CA, but that was played at trick 1.

A V Ramana RaoOctober 9th, 2020 at 12:29 pm

Hi David
Saw your post belatedly
Yes, I made it very clear in my post that unless south places K of heart with West, there is no play for the contract and Q of hearts provides entry to hand when West leads a heart for leading a spade . The diamonds get blocked and south loses a trick in the end either to K of hearts or Q of diamonds assuming that he rises with A of hearts but cashing the K of clubs after winning the diamond at second trick does not make any sense at least to me. What declarer wanted to accomplish by that move is absolutely not clear and I consider it as a blind spot