Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020


Iain ClimieNovember 17th, 2020 at 11:31 am

Hi Bobby,

3D might sneak home if the defence isn’t awake. Suppose South starts with SA then SJ to the Q and King, then North plays another spade. East wins and plays CAx. If the defence now play another club, East ruffs, draws trumps (luckily 2-2) and then pays HAx and the defence can’t unravel their heart winners; they either have to give a ruff sluff or set up a heart. Obviously North should switch to a heart at T3 double dummy (although a club may be more attractive) but it shows the dangers of the defence drifting off.



Iain ClimieNovember 17th, 2020 at 12:33 pm

HI Bobby,

3D might make especially if the defence is overly passive. Suppose South starts off with SA then J and the defence play a third, ruffed. East plays CAx and the defence play another club. East ruffs, draws trumps getting lucky then plays Gaz and the defence can’t unravel their 2 hear tricks, although South could unblock with J9x, but not here..

It just goes to show the dangers of autopilot. Terence Reese made this point on a defensive problem once where West , defending 6H after overcalling in S and being raised, led SA from AKQxx getting low from partner and dummy showed 10xxx. Out came another spade giving South the temp he needed to isolate the spade threat and eventually get a squeeze position. Attacking an entry or a trump exit would have been OK.



Iain ClimieNovember 17th, 2020 at 12:36 pm

HAx not Gaz – text recognition “helping” again

Iain ClimieNovember 17th, 2020 at 12:36 pm

And HKx too…

Bobby WolffNovember 17th, 2020 at 2:59 pm

Hi Iain,

First, forget having to apologize for failure to text recognize for two reasons:

1. It is easily spotted and then overlooked by experienced bridge readers and theorists. and more importantly:

2. I also too often, do it.

In truth, your point of “never giving up” as East, the diamond declarer, if buying the contract, should always apply, both for actual layouts like today or, just as often,, careless failures to unblock when one needs to.

Then two ways to gain, 1. fortunate defensive holdings for declarer and 2, especially when another board against the same pair is on the way, their partnership disharmony is then more likely and cashing the ace of hearts as soon as practical, possibly before criss cross ruffing to eliminate the defenders out cards before they realize the right unblocking defense, also is more likely to produce a better result.