Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, September 29th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoOctober 13th, 2020 at 12:20 pm

Hi Dear Mr. Wolff
Perhaps even a trump return by east at trick two can defeat the contract . South can win, take the ruffing finesse in diamonds and reach dummy with Q of hearts for a spade pitch but he is still left with three more losers in hand . ( If he pitches a club, he is still left with three spade losers)

bobbywolffOctober 13th, 2020 at 2:30 pm


Perhaps the defense to this specific hand represents logical defense at its toughest, since immediately after winning trick one, East must choose his defensive scheme, knowing his partner doesn’t have three clubs, leaving three rounds of clubs on the get-go, a tempting alternative.

The clues available to East include South’s volunteered 2 heart rebid, usually showing something extra (by not passing at his second turn),, rather than, in spite of holding six rather than five hearts, likely a more powerful initial distribution (4-6-1-2 rather than 3-6-2-2 or 2-6-3-2). Also since West did not preempt in spades, while NV in the second seat and holding 7 spades, he might have chosen that space taking jump overcall.

The above, rather than superfluous analysis, is strong evidence of how simple arithmetic plays such a large part in both good offensive and defensive play, allowing those with natural and powerful numbers talent, a distinct edge over those less gifted, or more subtly instructive, perhaps possessing that advantage, but not ever realizing, thus not in fact, utilizing it.