Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 6th, 2021


Robert LiptonJanuary 20th, 2021 at 10:36 am

I understand that one of the lessons taught hereabouts is to never give up, and that’s a good lesson. However, I fear it’s teaching bad bidding is fine. Yes, north has a fine hand: an effective 16 points plus a singleton king — worthless as a king, valuable as a singleton. I think this is worth a slam try over partner’s 2 hearts. I think 4 diamond describes the hand. Jumping to slam is just trying to punish partner.


A V Ramana RaoJanuary 20th, 2021 at 1:56 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
It feels indeed nice to be back and If east held 9 8 of clubs instead of the present holding, perhaps east can lead even nine of clubs to lead the declarer up the garden path. It would appear that east is angling for a club ruff so declarer may play Q of heart covered won with A and perhaps J of heart from hand. But in present case, if he leads club 8 an alert declarer will notice that West follows with nine instead of five and can guess East’s intentions

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2021 at 3:50 pm

Hi Robert,

Yes, and no doubt I agree with you in everything you suggest.

Although we try and discuss good bridge when we see it, or otherwise
have the opportunity, perhaps Martial’s aggressive quote had too much of a role in North’s jump to slam.

Yes, a terrible choice of rebid by North when a diamond cue bid on the way to game (or possible slam if South had extra’s, particularly a much better trump holding) would have been sufficient to stop at a sane contract instead of a far-out one.

Thanks for your intervention, which likely echoed others who 100% agree with you.

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2021 at 4:05 pm


Yes, now with so many bridge players in quarantine and face to face bridge on temporary hold (I hope) it is the wrong time for gremlins (or whatever the cause) to take our bridge discussions away.

However, it is indeed heartening to have your keen analysis back with us, causing all readers to consider the alternatives you suggest and both their overall value and effect.

While North really laid the wood to his jump to slam, I suppose he expected a better trump suit from partner and perhaps the preempt on his left suggested no king of clubs.

In any event, welcome back to all our regulars and to any others who want what I think, is very good and applicable, bridge advice.

Iain ClimieJanuary 20th, 2021 at 4:33 pm

Hi Bobby,

Is South really stretching that much with his 2H bid? He is a passed hand after all, not that North really seemed to notice or care. It is a shocking contract though, needing two finesses, hearts 3-2 and further luck in that suit. I suppose if North had the SDK in the clubs (!) and thought he had a void D it isn’t so bad but there could still be a large hole in the trump suit. South could after all have J10x K8xxx Axx Kx or similar and it is still a horrible contract.

I’m guessing North reckoned he had Clarence Oddbody working overtime and really earning his wings today, although regret is a huge part of that scenario like todays quote.



A V Ramana RaoJanuary 20th, 2021 at 5:41 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
An afterthought : north bid so aggressively, perhaps he should have bid Six NT and would make it if east does not lead A of diamonds. On cashing spades and clubs, east is hopelessly squeezed in red suits.

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2021 at 5:59 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, I agree with you that, as a passed hand, 2 hearts by South is the best bid, rather than an awkward negative double, which does not show, nor imply, 5 of the other major.

Also North certainly followed the advice of today’s quote, as he didn’t wait to jump to slam, but did so immediately. It sounds to me as an example of “desperate people do desperate things” but in retrospect, all we can do is follow the good advice of “Let the winner explain”, although, left unsaid is an agreement to its choice.

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2021 at 6:07 pm


The crowning blow would be, with you being North, jumping to 6NT and, of course making it, since, who in his right bridge mind, would suspect a singleton king of diamonds with declarer.

And then, of course, to embellish the story of the event being played is a B-A-M team game with the column’s NS, at the other table, bidding and making 6 hearts, but losing that key board to your team.

I’d wish that only on my worst enemy, and merely suggesting such a thing may make that only a tie among many.