Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, November 24th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoDecember 8th, 2020 at 11:19 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Very instructive deal. South played with quite a bit of prudence. But West could have as well led Q of diamonds initially; the only card to beat the contract due to the presence of only doubleton hearts in dummy and doubleton diamond in hand. South needs to duck Q of diamonds else east can gain lead but West can shift to club killing the contract. Dummy can win and lead a heart, West wins and continues clubs. Dummy leads another heart, West wins and leads his last club locking declarer in dummy and south has no transportation for nine tricks. It doesn’t help south to win third club in hand . He can cash one heart winner but is restricted to a single diamond winner. Quite interesting situation ( all doubledummy of course)and since south’s play is impressive, I googled and inserting the following quotes. Hope you don’t mind

“Look and see which way the wind blows before you commit yourself.”
Aesop, Aesop’s Fables

“Prudence is the virtue by which we discern what is proper to do under various circumstances in time and place.” ~ John Milton


Michael BeyroutiDecember 8th, 2020 at 12:47 pm

Dear AVRR,
I went to the dictionary of synonyms and typed “killing lead”, it immediately replied: see AVRR.

Dear Mr Wolff,
I am weary of the scenario in BWTA. Why didn’t North bid 2NT at his second turn? If it is true that he has slow stoppers in both majors and club support then a diamond lead… see AVRR.

A V Ramana RaoDecember 8th, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Dear Michael
Thanks for your compliment but I think I am a simple commoner deriving pleasure in reading and analysing bridge hands ( perhaps solving crossword puzzles and sudoku etc.,) and nothing more

Iain ClimieDecember 8th, 2020 at 4:17 pm

Hi Michael,

Ever heard of GETNIF (Get The NoTrumps in First) or, as I used to, played it? 3N after all is the game which is most likely to be let through.



Bobby WolffDecember 8th, 2020 at 5:10 pm


Perhaps back in 1940 (or so) while attempting to learn bridge from my mother (it was becoming real popular those days, primarily because of promotion by Ely Culbertson and Charley Goren) she taught me, while on defense, to always lead the top of my partner’s suit, so back then I might have, by following her advice and your analysis, had a roaring victory.

And although our magnificent game has, of course, stolen both yours and my heart, perhaps the more we learn, the less we perform.

And though doubtful, but maybe both Aesop and Milton played bridge, but, if so, they forgot to add, when playing our favorite game, we will do better if playing with transparent cards.

However, and in actuality, once that bidding took place, both the defense and the declarer could pretty well place almost all key cards (and the distribution), almost exactly where they were, and performed that bridge magic, we all have gotten to love (especially those of us who write about them).

And don’t be so modest about your talent, since and no doubt, it gives you (and indirectly the readers) satisfaction, not to mention the hidden challenge so many “real” hands present.

Bobby WolffDecember 8th, 2020 at 5:23 pm

Hi Michael,

Yes, your suggestion could be called in bridge (as it is in other sports), by bidding 2NT instead of 3 clubs is “running to daylight” of course, simply meaning trying to score up something worthwhile, (to which I heartily recommend) instead of menial.

However, in the task of presenting a daily hand, sometimes that caveat needs to
mind its manners and thus remain circumspect.

Bobby WolffDecember 8th, 2020 at 5:35 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt you left off the immodest part of GETNIF by adding IPBM (if played by moi) however, likely interpreted correctly by at least 101 out of 100 readers.

No doubt still occurring worldwide as we speak, in spite of this awful pandemic.