Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, December 18th, 2020


A V Ramana RaoJanuary 1st, 2021 at 9:33 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
A Very Happy New Year again to You, Judy and all friends on this site.
Perhaps as long as either opponent holds long diamonds and K of spades, south prevails by running trumps discarding one diamond and one spade and after clubs are cashed, we have the text book position of a Crisscross squeeze. For in five card position, dummy will have two spades and three top diamonds with south having A of spades and four diamonds and east can choose between devil and deep sea.
And the crisscross operates even if west holds four diamonds as long as he holds spade K too

A V Ramana RaoJanuary 1st, 2021 at 9:56 am

But as can be seen, the crisscross operates only if initial lead is not a spade and in case West leads a spade, south can draw trumps , play two rounds of diamonds learning the bad break, ruff a spade and play one more high trump from hand to squeeze east as in column line played by older declarer but personally, I feel crisscross is more elegant and any south player would he gratified to execute on the table

Iain ClimieJanuary 1st, 2021 at 11:18 am

Hi AVRR, Bobby,

Happy New Year although there can be problems with Criss-cross squeeze if you don’t read the end position properly. Today though it shouldn’t be too difficult to work out what is happening as there are only 5 diamonds out. Perhaps cashing one diamond early makes sense as then the situation is absolutely clear if a diamond gets ditched. I suppose if the D were 3-2 and neither defender ditched one on the run of the trumps, there might still be scope for confusion; doesn’t the crisscross setup allow South to cash 2 diamonds at some point after drawing trumps, though, run the hearts and cash CAK ditching a diamond and spade from table and then the position would be simpler? SA and Dxx in hand with SQx and DA on table. Either opponent, as AVRR rightly notes, is then scuppered.



jim2January 1st, 2021 at 1:47 pm

Perhaps the that last paragraph should begin:

“The key point of the play was that when the bad DIAMOND break came to light …”

Steve ConradJanuary 1st, 2021 at 2:38 pm

So let me guess where jim2 lives. From the time stamp, I presume it is in the U.K. I hope this “finesse” works 😉

Steve ConradJanuary 1st, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Nope — since it was 9:30 when I poisted this and the time stamp said 2:38, I revise this to guess jim2 lives on the East coast of the USA.

bobbywolffJanuary 1st, 2021 at 2:44 pm

Hi AVRR, Iain, and, of course Jim2,

Call the successful line any name you like. Criss cross is apt and will get the proper attention, above all very phonetic and exudes class.

All visibly worthwhile, but the ability to first understand the process and then, with several different safe, card for card, sequences available decide and do it.

Making Jim2’s comment applicable and as he says, the key point of the play, a condition that all players who aspire to be good, should learn to execute in their sleep.

Sadly, a nightmare if they don’t!

bobbywolffJanuary 1st, 2021 at 3:41 pm

Hi Steve,

And just like your so-called “finesse” in gathering evidence as to where Jim2 lives, so it goes with becoming more knowledgeable with our beloved game.

First, for others who rarely, if ever, post, playing bridge well is usually a difficult decision of first learning the basics and then as time goes by, begin to understand the various ways to secure tricks along with gaining experience with a regular partner (also dedicated) with an agreed bidding system, which starts out simple and then not adding frills, in the way of conventions until both partners agree and with that done, pay close attention to what that new convention does and does not do to improve the understandings your partnership has already developed.

All the above is habit forming and if IMO one word, which carries the most meaning in learning to play bridge well, it is simply the word “discipline” (“not to stray from what both the game and one’s partner will expect of you”.

And Steve, I believe, though not sure, that the time mention is likely Greenwich, England time.