Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 13th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJanuary 27th, 2021 at 11:19 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But, north’s 3 NT bid ; personally, I feel it is an atrocious bid. Perhaps he should have bid 3 / 4 spades . Your opinion please

jim2January 27th, 2021 at 12:29 pm


I am not Our Host, but I think 3N is a good choice. After all, North has shown six spades, has a filler for South’s “suit,” and stopper help in both unbid suits that South has announced stoppers in (and perhaps a second suit). In other words, he has 9 of his 14 HCPs outside of his own suit that his partner declined to raise even after he showed six of them. His partner created the game forcing auction, so he has a right to expect that his non-spades-raising partner has some other source of tricks.

Bobby WolffJanuary 27th, 2021 at 2:58 pm

Hi AVRR & Jim2,

The best I can do is to relate my reason(s) to agree with Jim2 once South basically psyched his 2 club original response, actually for tactical reasons instead of informational, since a final contract of NT flashed on his mind screen, once partner opened the bidding with 1 spade.

AVRR, you are an extremely keen bridge analyst, specializing in play and defense, assuming however the bidding went and in either above case, laying a firm ground for every play, both by declarer and the defense with, and through the years, hardly ever a glitch, even a small one, to suggest a real and vibrant talent to both respect and then, of course, to unashamedly follow.

Nothing above was intended as even a drop of criticism for your table feel nor any other even slightly other worthwhile feature of our beloved game.

All the above (and to come) is only meant to “tell it as I see it”, and thus, when South’s first response of 2 clubs was made, it could only be described as a psychic bid, misleading his partner as well as his opponents in looking ahead to what he deemed was to be his likely final resting spot, NT and wanting every advantage in so doing, trying to warn off a club lead.

However dame fortune, as usual, entered the occasion (as she often does) by dealing West, the eventual opening leader, a specific hand to which everyone in his right mind would begin clubs every time, when and if, on lead.

IOW, South thoroughly distorted the bidding, sometimes (including, as you pointed out) this one when 4 spades would have certainly been the favored contract to reach, not 3NT.

However, no player, excellent or not, could really severely criticize South’s choice, since all experienced players have been there, done that, and I must, although slightly embarrassed by doing so, might have, likely would have, done the same thing, with my thought of being tactical, but even so, giving myself a better chance, if and when the final contract is NT, wanting to be a tough opponent to play against and so immediately deciding to bid 2 clubs and ward off that opening lead since this hand might still recover if and when North would immediately support clubs. No guarantees, but not all that dangerous.

Quote the raven, nothing more (nor less), but then South, after digging his own grave, was able, by both luck and skill, to not wind up, falling into it.

IOW, a bad contract reached, yes by chance, but at the same time, not without thought and effort, but happening by design.

And I do agree with Jim2 (and his reason) on North’s choice of 3NT after South tricked him in the bidding, but lady luck was, as she always is, ready for him and forced declarer to execute well to overcome.

All in a bridge session’s work, and between everything that has been said by the three of us, may eventually allow our readers to judge for themselves, first how to proceed and possibly then, when to obscure.

IOW, I endorse South’s action, even though 4 spades, as you deftly mentioned, is theoretically clearly the better contract, such are the travails which I think we must endure on our way to being the best and toughest opponent we can become.