Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, September 25th, 2020


Iain ClimieOctober 9th, 2020 at 12:20 pm

HI Bobby,

Even at teams, this is an execrable contract. Both black aces must be right and trumps 3-2 for a start. South’s opening bid is disgusting (of course I want partner to lead a heart from Qx) although xxx AK10x Ax xxx or similar would be different. Then North’s aceless wonder with scattered kings is considered worth a splinter not just 4H. Partner is still there and can surely work out you have some values with the OPPO passing. 4441 is also not a great shape although 4C on xxxx KQJx KQxx x wouldn’t be too bad.

I know it is a bidders game but isn’t South being absurd here?


Iain Climie

A V Ramana RaoOctober 9th, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Hi Dear Mr. Wolff
Cards of E W are placed so conveniently for declarer to execute the Devil’s coup. Perhaps devil’s coup makes its presence more often but difficult to recognise most of the times

A V Ramana RaoOctober 9th, 2020 at 12:40 pm

Hi lain
Perhaps, N S needed a make or break deal for the result and ventured thinking that fortune favours the brave , though the bid is atrocious .As our host points out, there is an elegant way to make the contract but West could have easily prevailed had he underlead A of spades on lead. Now declarer just cannot make the contract

Iain ClimieOctober 9th, 2020 at 1:25 pm


Not sure “easily” really applies but I take your point. Notwithstanding the bidding, the play is interesting, though.



Bobby WolffOctober 9th, 2020 at 2:30 pm

Hi AVRR & Iain,

My bet is that both of you two have been in horrible contracts, such as either 4 hearts or spades, just like I have.

The one time in ten or twenty when, for whatever reason it comes home, by just feeling the wrath, one feels from the opponents, immediately after the result sometimes makes it worth it, especially if those two are not your best friends (if they were before, the’re not now).

Of course, depending on the relationship one has with those unlucky players, helps calibrate the compassion one feels for them.

All part of the game, but, and of course, I agree with both of your opinions of the highly optimistic attitudes your partnership took, to get that high.

However, add to that the high one feels by “bringing it home” will now overcome the “shame” of getting there. Well…….almost.

Iain ClimieOctober 9th, 2020 at 6:02 pm

HI Bobby,

I remember playing against a great friend of mine in 6S with KJxxxx in my hand opposite xx in dummy and he (east) had AQx. Worse, I had a hidden second suit (5 good diamonds I think) unmentioned in the bidding and his partner led a singleton which looked more like 98xx as I false carded at T1. The dreadful slam is still off if he hops up with the Ace at T2 and plays a diamond backbut he didn’t….

I apologised for our outrageous good fortune but his partner, a more irascible type, was using a certain word rhyming with an aquatic bird at him so much that the next table wanted to call the director. A long time ago but West really needed a tranquilizer dart to calm down. Shocking really as it was only a club session.

I tried apologising to West too but he was too busy berating his partner. The English stiff upper lip isn’t all it plus cracked up to be.