Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, November 12th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoNovember 26th, 2020 at 10:32 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Clearly the guardian angels of south were working overtime to place every card in favourable location. Spade J doubleton with east and diamond 3-3 with West holding both K and J. Interestingly, south need not ruff the third diamond and can pitch the losing heart from dummy once J appears. Best west can do is to return a heart but dummy ruffs. If east overruffs with J , south can amuse himself by overruffing and running diamonds. If east does not overruff, dummy leads a trump to south’s K and when spade J appears from east, south can claim
Perhaps Mrs. Guggenheim would be too glad to declare this hand in four spades

A V Ramana RaoNovember 26th, 2020 at 11:09 am

Keeping in tune with Stuart Mill’s quote, perhaps I need to change my mode of thought as there is a flaw in the analysis above. Sorry to have posted impulsively

Bobby WolffNovember 26th, 2020 at 3:49 pm


Flaw or no flaw, I give thanks to you and for our whole group of friends, bonded together, through our love and respect for our overwhelmingly favorite game.

How lucky we all are, even with the world differences, mostly political, to be able to share a commonality which resonates daily between us.

Throw in the horrors of the world pandemic which, to say the least, is inconvenient, materially, and adversely effects us, but hopefully with a working vaccine soon available we will be able to return to our socially acceptable face to face game we all adore.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and much love and regards to all posters and their families, great and small, who join in, adding much joy to practically, Judy’s and my every day.

A V Ramana RaoNovember 26th, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Many thanks for your wishes and I reciprocate the wishes to you and Judy and yes, let us hope that happy days will be back very soon putting an end to the corona nightmare .
And coming to the column hand, I realised the flaw shortly after posting but you ( alongwith doubledummy enthusiasts) will agree that south has a foolproof way of making the contract if he leads diamond Q at trick two. Now, south can either ruff out diamonds or discard dummy’s last heart on third diamond when J appears from West and has transportation available for drawing trumps and cashing diamonds. Defense is totally helpless

Bobby WolffNovember 26th, 2020 at 4:55 pm


Yes, that line will be successful, but is it the best line or rather just a successful double dummy one.

Methinks, that to try and figure the very best percentage line (keeping in mind the bidding, although to do so, is very tricky at best) may be accomplished by Thanksgiving, but perhaps the one in 2021.

However, I appreciate your hard work, and especially your novel method of taking the diamond finesse.

No doubt, starting with this hand, the opponents will be sure to hold their hands closer to their vest or dress, although your chosen line has much to recommend it.

A V Ramana RaoNovember 26th, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
That was a doubledummy line but your question prompted me to put on my thinking hat again . I found that the doubleton spade J with east gives away the contract.for eg., At trick three south leads spade to Q in dummy ( rather than A) and leads diamond nine covering East’s ten with Q if played else passing to west who will return heart but south can ruff , lead diamond A and ruff out the diamonds and lead spade A as a desperate measure and the denouement of appearance of J from east would be pleasant for south as three honours A, K and J contribute to the trick. Dummy’s ten of spades completes the formality of drawing trumps after which south can come to hand with club A for cashing diamonds

Bobby WolffNovember 27th, 2020 at 1:55 am


Reminds me of “There is a tide in the affairs of life (bridge) which taken at the flood (apex) leads on to fortune (winning). Omitted, all the voyage of their lives, will remain in shallows and in misery. On such a full sea are we now afloat. So, take the current when it serves or lose your fortune (match)”.