Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 29th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoNovember 12th, 2020 at 11:12 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite an interesting hand. Perhaps east was not guilty in encouraging diamond continuation. Perhaps West should shift to spade. The diamond tricks are not going to run away based on south’s bidding . Or east must have shifted to club instead of heart as mentioned. But the most interesting part is the squeeze east is subjected. It is akin to backwash squeeze though not exactly as in backwash squeeze, a ruff does the job . Here the long diamond had the same effect and east could have saved himself the mortification had he defended properly

bobbywolffNovember 12th, 2020 at 12:29 pm


All you say is correct, including (if my mind is able to grasp your significance) of both your description of a backwash squeeze and, of course its application.

However with regarding West’s error in not switching to a spade (after the come-on in diamonds from partner) I’ll leave it to you (and perhaps others, who volunteer) to judge.

However I, for one, would hope that his then error would be the worst one he ever would commit, although perhaps in retrospect and after your always efficient analysis, your suggested spade switch is clear.

In many respects, defending part scores is one of the more troublesome areas in our game, simply because of the greater number of high cards as well as the specific wide range of distributions possible, tends to limit accumulated necessary knowledge, particularly early in the defense.

Finally, even if both defenders were allowed to sit on the same bench together, similarly to what is happening today, self-kibitzing (cheating in online games), while gazing at each others cards, it might take some time before West may play to trick two.

However, if the rules would change to what I mention in the above paragraph as legal, I would definitely choose you to be my forever partner, assuming you would have me.

If West did err at trick two, I would forgive him, since for him, at that point in time, to visualize that unusual ending, resulting

A V Ramana RaoNovember 12th, 2020 at 2:18 pm

This is regarding my submission of west switching to spade . West can infer initially that north’s support jump bid of hearts indicates at least 16 points with distribution or more points with four card support and flat hand . Yet, south did not accept the invitation . Once dummy is laid down , West is seeing eighteen points ; so south must be limited to a maximum of five to six points and spade switch could lose only if south held K and ten of spades and stands to gain in other holdings . At the most West may be presenting an overtrick but most probably not or even a club switch from West would have done the job as dummy cannot have a quick discard of a diamond or am I missing something?

bobbywolffNovember 12th, 2020 at 4:13 pm


No, I do not think you are missing anything except possibly that East may have a small doubleton diamond (declarer having Qxxxx) while wanting a ruff, but if so, likely the most which may be lost on defense is an overtrick, not the contract trick.

Not much doubt that East should not encourage diamonds when looking at the king of spades, but often, while on defense and early in the play, it becomes difficult to play in an even tempo, then allowing others to feel
being disadvantaged by a hesitation resulting in the 3rd seat defender being thought to be helping partner with his “relatively slow” play to trick one.

All the above does take place with no perfect answer for the solution. However, all any of us can do is try one’s best, while at the table to think in terms of the above problem and as much as is practical try to be a bridge solid citizen with active ethics.

However, it seems the opposite is closer to true with what appears to be going on in tournament”virtual” online bridge instead of what almost everyone wants, a return to face to face bridge ASAP.

Thanks always for your contributions and interest in our site to which you and many other “REAL BRIDGE LOVERS” exchange sophisticated views on the provided hands.