Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 18th, 2020


Iain ClimieDecember 2nd, 2020 at 9:38 am

HI Bobby,

A point of theory on today’s bidding. Given that South has 5 or more spades, should North’s bid show 1 spade at most? I have to say that South’s decision to bid 4S opposite a moderate known misfit strikes me as pushy while diamonds were never considered despite the ruffing value and decent support.



Michael BeyroutiDecember 2nd, 2020 at 2:21 pm

Dear Mr Wolff,
in this day and age, it is rare to see a non-Jacoby 2NT response to one spade (or one heart). What is your experience with the J2NT?

bobbywolffDecember 2nd, 2020 at 2:54 pm

Hi Iain,

A logical but somewhat comical way of expressing your well thought out bidding principle might be: To bid 2NT over partner’s 1 of a major opening should always announce no more than a singleton in partner’s major suit, except when he has 2 and no better bid.

In that way, bridge players, even (and especially the high-level variety), can go about their business of doing their partnership best to (at least think) of making the best bid at the time.

No one can deny your treatment is well thought, but how often will your partner have seven+ of the boys (lacking the ace), and the red suit strength to probably fly on its own wings to a one less trick requirement for success?

In any event, the pudding should be judged by its taste, and today’s hand is an excellent exmple for the above exception.

Besides, since your keen lawyer talent represents both sides, you will be thought of as most economical (for both sides) to hire, and right to the point in deciding what position to usually take, but not always.

bobbywolffDecember 2nd, 2020 at 3:18 pm

Hi Michael,

IMO, a partnership does need an immediate GF bid in a major suit, showing undeniable support (4+) and setting the then immediate attention to the appropriate level, game or slam. By immediate attention I suggest controls (aces, kings,singletons and voids), then sources of enough tricks and finally trump suit quality.

Finally my experience has indicated (at least to me) that Jacoby 2NT is as good (not much wasted space) together with practical application of the bids available to secure the answers.

Not only that, I was playing quite often with him as my partner (at that time) early 1960s, when he was conjuring up the details, and then a few years later started playing with his son Jim, as my first partner on the Aces, after moving north to Dallas from my original nest, San Antonio, both in Texas.

So, of course, I may be slightly biased in my answer.

bobbywolffDecember 2nd, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Hi again Iain,
Forgot to add that if South would have held:
A10xxxxx in spades, instead of KJ9xxxx, he likely would have changed his choice to diamonds from spades, allowing your thought to reign.
However, I do realize that you want to have the short spade holder be the one to warn against, but I have always been in favor of my partner, instead of moi, having the restrictions.