Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, September 24th, 2020


Steve ConradOctober 8th, 2020 at 12:04 pm

I’ve never heard of an “intellectual” lead? Is that a “thoughtful” lead or was it meant to be an “ineffectual” lead, misspelled? No matter, I like the expression, no matter what it means.

Iain ClimieOctober 8th, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Hi Steve,

I think this is a case of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Sometimes leading an unsupported honour as here from e.g. Kxxxx allows the opening leader (When dummy has a singleton) to judge the best switch, especially if there is likely to be strength in dummy. Hence you have to be smart enough to think of it but unlucky enough that it rebounds horribly as here. A moderate player wouldn’t think of it, a poor player might do it by not knowing any better (with say Honour to 3); only a pretty good or better player would have the intelligence to fall into the trap.



Bobby WolffOctober 8th, 2020 at 3:13 pm

Hi Steve,

And likely no one else has either, since, at least for this moment in time, and while applying it to bridge, I agree with you that a spade lead, knowing partner has specifically three of them (explained bidding), and while holding only four himself, plus a robust five in partner’s obvious length, intellectually reasoned defensive tricks would be more likely in spades than in clubs.

It, for once, turned out exactly as planned since East possessed the bravery to necessarily (on this overall distribution of cards) underlead his ace, king of clubs, allowing West the lead to switch back to spades and defeat what almost would have been a laydown contract without this highly intellectual choice of defensive plays.

Since our great game sometimes lends itself to moments like this, this hand tends to prove, or at least suggest, that bridge itself is and will always be, the greatest mind game ever invented.

Furthermore, the above quote by the famous WW II Dutch girl, Anne Frank, while describing what she defines as judging character by the way one argues, also seems
to be often present when we attempt to play our multifaceted challenge.

At least to me, a correct assessment of a superior sort of logical conclusion well represents what this hand basically stands for.

Thanks for your thoughtful post!

Bobby WolffOctober 8th, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Hi Iain,

Although many dfferent words and, for that matter, slightly different thoughts reasoned our response to Steve’s post, in a pure sense, we came close to judging this imaginative hand the same way.

Another hand, almost perfect to be used by a clever instructor, in discussing and thus explaining defense in bridge and its components.

However, to first begin to imagine the advantage for discussing logic (bridge and often just life) we need to have a classroom as well as an enthusiastic teacher, one which can only be described as a learned lesson in what makes bridge so well suited to be taught in early school, especially for students who love games with a arithmetical touch,