Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 22nd, 2020


Joe1November 5th, 2020 at 12:46 pm

I wonder if any EW ended up in 4S? With N on lead might make, or at least be a good sacrifice. In other words, should E bid 4, with key spades and source of tricks? In these hands we see how the hand’s star played, often not other adept pairs. NS scored well, but also got lucky

bobbywolffNovember 5th, 2020 at 3:36 pm

Hi Joe 1,

Be careful about underestimating good players and their ability to defend, starting out with their most effective opening lead.

Suppose North starts out with ace and another diamond, certainly not a possible, if not likely choice from North, depending on the actual bidding while defending 4 spades doubled.

When South leads the third and fourth diamond, North discards hearts, while declarer is ruffing high on the 4th one. Then declarer leads a club to which North wins and leads a spade, assuring 6 defensive tricks, (three diamonds, two clubs and one heart, for down 500, a score with no one vulnerable, better than 5 clubs by NS could ever produce, unless EW would double a 5 club contract with NS expertly, bringing it home.

Yes, North got off to the killing lead, but I wouldn’t necessarily say he got lucky, but rather used good judgment, on whatever way the bidding materialized.

The above may allow you, with your natural bridge smarts, plus an open mind, to experience how competitive our beautiful game can be, especially when playing against competent players, using good judgment.

The bridge hand above chosen by us to be emphasized (real life hand and result) was not intended to go into the defense against 4 spades, many too words necessary to explain, but these side issues, alternatives and solutions, will be what you will experience, so that you will see and thus feel first hand, all the trials and tribulations all high flying players (over the rainbow) must go through, during their journey, down the Yellow Brick road toward the Emerald City.

Iain ClimieNovember 5th, 2020 at 4:29 pm

Hi Bobby,

Should East bid 3S competitively over 2 given that he’d like a spade lead and South is now a level higher?



bobbywolffNovember 5th, 2020 at 5:28 pm

Hi Iain,

Probably a resounding yes, since you are so correct in wanting a spade lead, if for no other reason than to be able to make use of East’s singleton club (in whichever way it possibly can be defensively involved) when, and if, the opponents buy the contract (unless, of course, clubs become trump).

However, a danger always present is sometimes sitting across from you, if, in fact, he is overly active and a bit undisciplined enough to never have met a sacrifice he didn’t like.

All the above needs to be calibrated correctly for success, and, to be honest, will always play a larger than life part in your results.

Then leading to psychological factors within a partnership to be discussed thoroughly and agreed, in order to at least sincerely attempt to ready that partnership to have any chance for overall success.

Not pretty, but almost as important as lawful and conscientious behavior in determining elections in one’s home country so that, if for no other reason, its inhabitants will not be forever embarrassed, to the point of off-the-charts frustration.