Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 4th, 2020


Steve ConradNovember 18th, 2020 at 1:34 pm

I collect interesting deals,. Today’s column featured the nicest variant I have seen of the Emperor’s Coup, wherein a defender discard a high honor in a suit in which that defender’s partner has a lower honor as a potential entry. None of the other 44 deals I have on this topic was as “clear” as this to a competent East defender who recognized that, when the two of spades was used to knock out declarer’s final stopper, suggesting a club entry. Thank you for this truly great example. Brilliant! If you constructed this example, I applaud you. If you saw it and recognized its grandeur, I also applaud you.

Steve ConradNovember 18th, 2020 at 1:36 pm

I wish there were an EDIT button so I could correct the (albeit minor) errors of grammar and tense in my comment above 🙁

Steve ConradNovember 18th, 2020 at 1:37 pm

Finally, it is 8:38 AM and the time on the submission is 1:38 PM. Do you know why?

Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2020 at 1:56 pm

HI Steve,

I’m posting this at 13:54 from the UK so let’s see what shows up. I suspect the time shown on posts reflects that on the device used by the person reading the blog.

Which time zone are you in?



A V Ramana RaoNovember 18th, 2020 at 4:25 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Pity that east did not find the brilliant discard of club A. But my point is, south’s ducking of the lead. Just in case West also held club A , then duck would cost the contract which would otherwise make . However, if south places club A with east as in column hand , duck mostly helps ( assuming east doesn’t find the club A discard) . Also, considering that there is no long suit to run except the confirmed five four fit in club suit and duplication of values in diamonds, merits of playing this hand in clubs vis-a-vis NT. Request your views

Bobby WolffNovember 18th, 2020 at 4:26 pm

Hi Steve,

First, thanks much for your extremely kind words which, no doubt, have already made my day and where I live (Western USA) it is now 7:43AM.

Next, I’ve always enjoyed games (of course, especially tournament bridge, and such with an added emphasis on sports), but mostly as a spectator, certainly not as a talented player.

With that background, and for whatever reason, I particularly respected team play as many contributed, unselfishly, to make that team the best it can be.

And so it is with my team, I in Las Vegas, Nevada, added to several bridge greats in the NY area which for a long time has included my great friend, Mr. Barry Rigal.

We work together and have done so for 20+ years, although my byline began in 1982, but being without them is not a thought I could tolerate (nor likely would my readers).

I suspect, since the column is international, that the time listed on a comment, is likely Greenwich (England) mean time, which historically is used as the basis of worldwide standard time.

Finally, do not worry about the trivia of grammar and tense, since with your main intention of praise, you have won all there is to win and besides, easy for me to say, having Barry to consult (and do the nitty-gritty), at least for me, is always the right answer.

Bobby WolffNovember 18th, 2020 at 4:34 pm

Hi Iain,

Logically, you perhaps are right about the time listed on the comment, except by doing so, it would then be a moving time trying to coincide with the reader turning to the post.

But perhaps there is an extra twist to your idea, yet unknown.

Bobby WolffNovember 18th, 2020 at 4:51 pm


While you, of course, present interesting bridge discussion, one point already mentioned is that with West sure to hold the ace of spades (by East’s play at trick one), and not overcalling in spades at the one level if holding the ace of clubs and also holding at least 5 spades while not vulnerable throws the likelihood of East then being in possession of the club ace, making a spade duck at trick one the better percentage play.

At least it says here, though there are players who would need more to bid positively the first go around.

Finally with NS both basically holding balanced hands, even with a 5-4 minor suit fit, having to contract for eleven tricks, is almost never the winning action, except for those players who love off-beat bidding decisions, which, after careful placing of the high cards, make it so that 5 of a minor is the better contract.

IOW, beware of those snake oil salesman who double as bridge writers, and for that matter, also the ones who perhaps talk against it.

Steve ConradNovember 18th, 2020 at 5:43 pm

Hi Iain,

I live across the pond on Long Island, right near where Phillip Alder used to reside when he was in NY before moving to Florida. And, I do believe we are 5 hours behind you, so you are probably correct.

Steve ConradNovember 18th, 2020 at 5:45 pm


One more thing — Barry Rigal lives in New York City these days. I see him at the NYC tournaments. OK, I used to see him there, back in the days when bridge was played person to person.

Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2020 at 5:57 pm

HI Steve,

Please give Barry my regards if and when you see him as I met him a couple of times in my tournament day (late 70s to 1985). Also I went on Bridgewinners the other day and said hello to Richard Fleet who asked about bridge analogies to Tiger Woods 10 at the Masters. I put something on there which may amuse you.

Thanks for the memories as they say; I didn’t know Phillip Alder but he edited Bridge Magazine over here.