Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, January 11th, 2021


Iain ClimieJanuary 25th, 2021 at 10:31 am

Hi Bobby,

A seemingly straightforward yet instructive hand which it would be horribly easy to play on Auto-pilot at the table. If you’ll forgive the flippant quibble, though, if South is guarding against the spades being 5-3, there is a 14th spade in this pack. It doesn’t detract from the point or the pleasure of the column though.

On LWTA, I suspect that TOCM could find Jim2’s partner with 5 spades (or even 4 very good ones and working cards outside) but he’d had one tucked in the clubs. Would that be a whole new strain of the problem?



A V Ramana RaoJanuary 25th, 2021 at 2:06 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite an instructive hand and south can thank his partner for providing that all important nine of diamonds. ( If West held A J 10 , obviously south cannot win) and another point is the avoidance play perhaps can net even an overtrick if east returns a club on winning diamond ten as on the run of diamonds, West may discard clubs exposing East’s holding

jim2January 25th, 2021 at 3:54 pm


bobbywolffJanuary 25th, 2021 at 4:04 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, that 5-3 description of spades (instead of 5-2) is an unnecessary and careless error (mea culpa), but, of course, only done deliberately in order to test the reader (if you believe that, next will come my attempting to sell you a bridge I think I own, rather than to play it).

And again yes, no doubt, if Jim2 was on lead, he would rise to lead a club rather than a spade (when partner did not overcall them) only to find one of two hands partner was holding: 1. s. AK9xx, and out with either declarer or dummy providing the QJ doubleton or 2. s. xxxxx and a number of entries, necessary to be knocked out, but not being able to do it before the opponents took 2 spade tricks for a total of 5. Also the club lead caught partner with the queen third, allowing declarer the ninth trick he wouldn’t have gleaned if that suit was not originally led.

However Jim2’s partner understood and made some comforting remarks, one of them being, “when faced with a pretty much equal choice I always choose a major suit”!

bobbywolffJanuary 25th, 2021 at 4:18 pm


As always, well analyzed with thought provoking side comments.

My salvation after events happen to guarantee me that a combination of Lady Luck and the immutable law of averages is always in control of our otherwise sensational game is to think (regardless of its possible skewed logic) is a huge optimistic outlook, so that if someone would dump a large amount of horse manure in my front yard, I would immediately run around back to expect to greet a new Shetland pony which must have been just delivered.

bobbywolffJanuary 25th, 2021 at 4:54 pm

Hi Jim2,

Loved to see your should be patented symbol, hoping that it was a sign of good health.

We’ve been missing both your sage advice and, of course, your constant unrivaled travails, but neither close to your always entertaining presentation of how to deal with bridge adversity (which never relents) and still smile through its devastation.

Next, where and how is David, who is still unaccounted for?

bobbywolffJanuary 25th, 2021 at 4:59 pm

Hi everyone,

Not to let the above even begin to imply that all sometimes posters are not both loved and respected and above all, necessary, for every reason possible.

David SnookJanuary 25th, 2021 at 5:55 pm



***loud snoring***

Huh? Did I hear my name?

I’m awake! I’m awake!

bobbywolffJanuary 25th, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Hi David,

Yes you did, along with many others who do not post often, but when they do, often ask questions or relate bridge situations, almost always of interest and sometimes even critical to moving up notches in playing bridge effectiveness.

And what gladdens my heart is that, IMO, the average talent of our group, would perhaps rank higher than any other group to which I am familiar. IOW, real experts in both knowledge and analysis, but quality players who could hold their own (or almost) against the world’s best.

And, in case one is interested, perhaps the major reason many world class players are not better known is simply that they have either never invested time in developing a worthy partnership to compete, or various circumstances, like life itself, have prevented them from even having a chance of so doing.