Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 7th, 2021


Iain ClimieJanuary 21st, 2021 at 3:04 pm

HI Bobby,

That spade play is also right if South has SAQxxx as it picks up SK10x on the right but suppose South’s trumps are rather weaker e.g. A87xx opposite J9xx but East has (say) opened a weak NT. Unless he is messing around with singleton K or Q, leading the J not only legitimately collects the singleton 10 with West but has highly amusing consequences if East covers from Q10x.

As ever, though, homework is required both to set these traps and to avoid falling into them. Not as much fun as playing for real but still likely to pay off.



bobbywolffJanuary 21st, 2021 at 4:20 pm

Hi Iain,

All well said and no doubt interesting, especially for those who always seem to be “tough” opponents, likely on the prey for careless animals who subject themselves, either to playing by rote or more likely by inexperience, to bridge half-truths (eg always covering honors, never leading away from a king, when in doubt lead trumps, etc).

The above should cause ambitious learning players to “read on” when listening to basic bridge rules as to what actually happens when an honor is covered, other leads than from kings are either more unattractive or instead the suit headed by a king is called for, or to what I think is more appropriate, always have a valid reason for leading trump, certainly not just when in doubt.

And finally, yes much fun (at some once else’s expense) but for common decency and what should be a feature in bridge ethics, none of us should or will publicly dwell on it. Exception may be a mortal enemy, including all bridge cheats.

BTW, I certainly appreciate your timely return (along with AVRR) to our bridge site and want again to apologize for the horrific delay and for whatever else I should have done to notify others.

I am just plain dumb in not knowing how to secure email addresses and whatever else to ease that pain (at least for me) while it was happening, including expecting it to be fixed immediately.

Being born as a supreme optimist has its disadvantages.

Iain ClimieJanuary 21st, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for that and don’t worry – any fleeting technological problems are more than made up for by the column contents. Also, we can always read through previous posts.



David SnookJanuary 21st, 2021 at 6:17 pm

Well… comments are back!

I can only say, it was rather upsetting last to come by only to discover
that comments were disabled. And now they’re back up and running.

There was one hand last week (it might have been on the first day comments were down) that was particularly fun to play… it was a 4 S bid, w/ N having the Axx of trump and E having the next 4 highest trumps.

Really tricky and really fun to work thru.

It’s really nice to have comments back, Bobby.

bobbywolffJanuary 21st, 2021 at 6:29 pm

HI Iain,

Thanks for your overwhelming good cheer and undying cooperation plus, of course, your
alternate choices of improving one’s bridge game.

bobbywolffJanuary 21st, 2021 at 6:42 pm

Hi David,

In truth, one is unlikely ever to hold live that particular trump combination with an opponent holding KQJ10x behind the Axx and then the declarer restricting losses to only three trump tricks instead of four, allowing a four level contract in spades (the trump suit) to make with only three lost tricks.

When a potential player ambitiously becomes
interested in what needs to be done to force
the above to happen is the open door to what it takes to understand card combinations and their effect.

Thanks for your comment, your continued appreciation of high-level bridge and, of course, your kind words.