Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, September 26th, 2020


Iain ClimieOctober 10th, 2020 at 12:25 pm

HI Bobby,

Isn’t there slight confusion in the description of “then trying to ruff out the HQ when the S finesse failed”? I assume it meant trying to ruff out the HQ and then trying the S finesse (which obviously then failed).

Without the potential tip-off in spades, though (e.g. if West had a small one to ditch) is there any great difference between three rounds of spades, trying to ruff down the Q or three rounds of hearts trying that instead before finishing the trumps and trying to get the end position in the remaining major right?

I’m not sure how good a grand slam it is though, although turning the pointed suit jacks into a major suit Q makes it perfect. Barring absurd early breaks and a ruff, it needs either the Q, Qx or Qxx to come down in the major suit you ruff out, or the finesse working in the other one or a squeeze, which you then have to read right. Fine for top class players, but I’m not so sure for me.



bobbywolffOctober 10th, 2020 at 2:40 pm

Hi Iain,

At least to me, it is not visible about “then trying to ruff out the heart queen when the spade finesse failed” but perhaps the reader will envision it that way in his mental analysis, especially if he succumbs to the poignant, almost daily, column quote.

Furthermore if the “down deep” definition of a good slam is restricted to one which makes, then the column description of this hand being a good “grand” slam is very far off.

However, by now returning to the “ranch”, while two great declarers actually went down, it wasn’t meant to condemn their play, only to put more stock in the seven of spades not being a false card, together with putting a much greater influence on including a possible squeeze involving the high diamonds (West didn’t lead one from a possible KQ combination, not that this fact is necessarily critical).

All in all a powerful bridge hand, which, at least to me, would be a great challenge for even among the best players in the world, which in this case is more fact than fiction.

And, while I appreciate your modesty, your apt description of the consequential chances for success, accentuates your own high status in the pecking order.

How’s that for a great friend buttering you up?

Iain ClimieOctober 10th, 2020 at 11:03 pm

HI Bobby,

Thanks for the kind comment although I’m very rusty at present. Apart from BBO 4 hands sessions I haven’t played since February and have no idea if / when I’ll restart even if opportunities arose soon. Chest is vie I suppose.