Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, January 15th, 2021


Iain ClimieJanuary 29th, 2021 at 2:53 pm

Hi Bobby,

Does the D8 at T1 actually beat this? All double dummy of course but look what a robot did to a friend of mine in an online game. West held HQJxxx opposite East’s K9x but the robot (sitting East) was in 3N not 4H, crossed to dummy at an early stage and led a small H to the 9 on the first round pickung up my friends A1087 for only one loser. Can computers cheat?



Bobby WolffJanuary 29th, 2021 at 4:11 pm

Hi Iain,

Good first question, but no, since, in effect the declarer is able to ruff two hearts in what turns out to be the short trump hand and make full use of his good 13th club (since if it is ruffed with the defensive long trump winner, East is endplayed in diamonds, and if he doesn’t, declarer winds up with 5 trump tricks, 4 clubs and the ace of diamonds.

Therefore the only successful defense, after the opening lead which works is two consecutive diamond leads from West, which unfortunately for the defense is illegal. However an original diamond lead seems to be the only salvation for EW and that would likely require a peak at the hand records.

Regarding what was done to your friend, those robots may have “keen” eyes for such a finesse to be taken and I would like to then think that only a Robot Wolff could make such a play, (and through my worst enemy), but then sadly, it would only turn out to be a dream.

David SnookJanuary 29th, 2021 at 7:05 pm

Good morning, all…

So I quit reading the explanation of this hand after S played its two top trumps and tried to figure it out for myself…

Here’s what I did…

After the two top trumps got played, I first played a club to dummy and trumped my last heart, also stripping hearts from E. I then played a 2nd club back to dummy and played my S queen, reducing E to 1 trump, 1 club, and 3 diamonds.

I’m now up 7 tricks, w/ E-W having taken the first trick.

I then played dummy’s last club, which also stripped clubs from E, and ended up back in hand.

Finally, I played my 4th & last club, putting E in a bad spot. E can trump that club, but then is on lead w/ nothing but diamonds and has to lead into my tenace in dummy, OR… E can let my last club win, which would be my 9th trick, and my 10th becomes the A of diamonds.

this seems to work, no?

Bobby WolffJanuary 29th, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Hi David,

As an immediate answer to your departing question, Hell yes!!!!

Furthermore, if you continue on the course you seem to have pursued, you will eventually be a very good player, on your way to larger rewards (bridge only) and be capable, if Dame Fortune shines on your bridge career, to an unlimited upside, worth much satisfaction if it fits in with what you want your life to include.

However, to accomplish the above, you must realize that playing very good bridge is similar to dealing with a jealous mistress, the better you want to get, the more jealous the mistress.

No time for taking long breaks from the game, nor not searching for the right partner (one who genuinely feels the same, or close, to your
desire for improvement and the logistics necessary to accomplish it). Other factors, in addition to addiction, would be the absence of total time waste, such as each wanting to be better than the other, or even playing El Supreme in determining what system or conventions to agree, but rather, in case of valid disagreements, to give each side a shot at both ways, by first talking it out, then experimentation in the case of still not seeing it
eye to eye.

DO NOT SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, but try never to lose one’s concentration while on stage and at the table.

The good news is that once the proper discipline is reached between a partnership (and IMO it isn’t in perhaps 75% of the cases) that both partners can then concentrate (while at the table) enabling the reading of the proper psychology while competing against all comers, including some of the best around.

IOW, freeing our bridge minds of worrying about what we are doing and instead concentrating on what the worthy opponents are trying to do.

All the above are the above essentials necessary to reach the appropriate level we are always seeking. Not all are qualified, but your posts have shown a possible willingness to do what is necessary. Our AOB site, with its overall expertise, is there to rely on, since most of our posters take bridge very seriously with few holds barred.

Whether the above is worth trying, you alone can find out, but if the opportunity becomes a success, I think our posters will agree that, YES IT IS!

That is, it will be, if face to face bridge returns, cheating is obliterated (will not be easy unless IMO, draconian penalties are enforced together with the judging and sentencing, done by true bridge experts who understand people the way they are, rather than the way we wish them to be) or, at the very least, other ways are discovered which do not take table judgment, gleaned from being up close and personal to one’s opponents, are maintained.

Without that last demand, I am not so optimistic, although it may be possible to find other ways to create similar effective methods
which mirror what we had before the pandemic.

Iain ClimieJanuary 30th, 2021 at 6:29 pm

Hi Folks,

Today’s (Jan 30th) column isn’t up yet; is this me or a more general glitch?


Iain ClimieJanuary 30th, 2021 at 8:40 pm

Hi Bobby,

Saturday’s column hasn’t appeared yet (for me anyway); anyone else having the same problems?



David SnookJanuary 31st, 2021 at 2:09 am


Once again, you’ve been incredibly generous w/ your insights, Bobby…

Thank you!

Bobby WolffJanuary 31st, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Hi everyone,

Consider this a total apology for the ridiculous delay and inconvenience we have caused by not posting our daily bridge column.

Neither Judy nor I have been able to get in touch with our source, who have always faced the responsibility for posting.

IOW, we are facing the same problem all of you are subjected to, while doing our best to return to the normalcy we have always provided.

Again, heartfelt apologies to all who are inconvenienced by our lack of responsibility.
Hopefully we will rectify soon, but, at this moment, we are at a loss to explain what has happened.



RobertJanuary 31st, 2021 at 5:43 pm

I think the columns are well worth the wait. I was never better than an intermediate player, but I always learn something when I read them.

Best of luck. These are never fun problems to solve.

Bobby WolffFebruary 1st, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Hi again everyone,

We have tried every way we can to reach our source of posting the daily AOB column.

So far, no luck in doing so, but we will continue trying until we, at the very least, find the reason why and, of course, what to next expect.

Again, please forgive us, and rest assured we are confused and heartbroken for our lack of responsibility in making sure this would never happen.

Whether the above is connected to what happened a short time ago we have no idea, but we are
doing everything possible to find out.

A V Ramana RaoFebruary 1st, 2021 at 2:39 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Nevermind and absolutely not necessary to be sorry. Well, life gets complicated at times for no fault of us. Hope to see the normal column back very soon

Bobby WolffFebruary 1st, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Hi again, again,

While not the wiser for it, Saturday, Sunday and Monday appeared,

Hopefully this inconvenient, unpredictable practice will disappear, but, at least for now, looking a gift horse in the mouth does not appear to be the timely, nor strategic approach.

At any rate, hopefully welcome back and being ready to depend on us. Cross your fingers, but continue to take winning finesses.