Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, November 7th, 2020


Robert LiptonNovember 21st, 2020 at 11:46 am

I would try ducking a heart first. This give me an extra card to reveal any length disparities and sets up the possibilities of a squeeze in spades and diamonds.

As it turns out, the heart duck is better, simply because it turns ot to be more useful in getting a count.


Steve ConradNovember 21st, 2020 at 1:42 pm

Hi Bobby,

I left a (very late) comment on Nov 19 because that deal provided me with at least 30 minutes of excellent instruction. For me, it was “the deal of the year,” and that is both in the sense of the cards and also the sense of the monetary cost. Magnificent.

Bobby WolffNovember 21st, 2020 at 2:57 pm

Hi Bob,

While I enjoyed your mental acuity in searching for ways to make this solid slam, in the event of a disappointing diamond break, I will question your choice of losing a heart instead of a spade, simply because the line chosen (giving up a soft spade) appears superior in scope, not in certainty at the clutch moment, but rather in practical consideration.

However, your line IMO is to be considered, but methinks, then rejected, based on probability, primarily (as the column states, by no heart discarded when the 13th club is cashed, suggesting neither opponent started with five of them).

However, the above can be an important tell to remember when strength of ability meets similar strength as long as the hand logistic appears to tolerate it.

Therefore all readers should appreciate your comment, particularly so, those readers who aspire to be above the ordinary.

Bobby WolffNovember 21st, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Hi Steve,

Again, at least by implication, your kind words particularly resonate with me. simply because of their choice, citing bridge and its magnificence, as well as the false god of money to which our beloved country has vastly overrated its value, especially compared to general all around education and know how of all types, even the mundane application of how best to play a game (albeit an extremely special one).

I can assure you that it is my pleasure, certainly not a chore, especially with someone like you, who appreciates it.

A V Ramana RaoNovember 21st, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Don’t you think north’s bid is about precipitous. Though the hand provides inferential counting in a very subtle way, as can be seen the hand is cold for six diamonds and perhaps seven if diamonds break normally. Is north’s bid justified or is there a scientific way of bidding the hand to optimal contract. Request your opinion

A V Ramana RaoNovember 21st, 2020 at 4:18 pm

a bit precipitous not about

Bobby WolffNovember 21st, 2020 at 6:10 pm


No doubt a bit precipitous, but unless playing IMPs against a very good team or money bridge for high stakes, it gets right to the point, but, you are correct, when and if playing tournament bridge against a very good partnership, and at the other table with your cards, it is worthy of exploration for a grand slam.

The problem, as it often is, concerns itself with tedious slam bidding (particularly and unless your partnership has had much experience bidding hands and discussing the meaning of different types of slam inferences which, no doubt will manifest themselves.

Then when one considers, that a grand slam is not likely to be a laydown (or virtual) featuring and requiring one or two reasonably normal breaks (eg 4-2, or even 3-2) it becomes a statistically close question of whether it becomes worthwhile.

Finally,when one just jumps and hopes, he gains advantage that the opponent’s may not only lead a disadvantaged card or suit as against a strict scientific sequence where good opponents will then be alert to lead well, discard both correctly and deceptively, and try to fool declarer in likely several legal and legitimate ways.

IOW, I have avoided answering your worthwhile question so you cannot sue me, whatever I say.

However, thanks for your question, as others may be wondering the same thing.