Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 21st, 2021


Iain ClimieFebruary 4th, 2021 at 10:47 am

Hi Bobby,

What was the scoring used here? Bidding tight games at matchpoints always struck me as unwise but at Butler scoring (IMPs vs datum) it might well make sense. Can’t argue with success though!



Iain ClimieFebruary 4th, 2021 at 12:54 pm

Hi again,

Also, “4 rounds of diamonds ending in dummy” is interesting. As East might have 4 it must have gone DA, DK seeing 8 so unblock 10 then D to Q and back to 9. It makes no difference as declarer knows East has the CK with West having HAQ and SQ but seems a little eccentric.


A V Ramana RaoFebruary 4th, 2021 at 1:26 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Four rounds of diamonds ending in dummy. But what is the significance? South should hope that east holds third trump ( almost confirmed after Q falls on second high trump). So if east does not ruff diamond, he is thrown in with trump and south can finish diamonds ending in any hand. Obviously the hand cannot be made if west turns up with third trump with east holding club A
Again, west’s two hearts bid presented a blueprint for success . Without west’s bid, south cannot be sure that east does not have a fourth heart , so he must be opting for club finesse and would have gone down.

Iain ClimieFebruary 4th, 2021 at 3:11 pm


If West has the CK though, he has an opening bid – although the H situation might not be so clear if West had that card and the auction started 1H (X) 2H. Your point is still sound though – bidding (or even the lack of it) can always help a declarer who listens to it. All a reminder of the dog at the stables not barking in the night although I’ll have to look up which Sherlock Holmes story it was. Silver Blaze is the horse I think.



A V Ramana RaoFebruary 4th, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Hi lain
It is indeed Silver Blaze though many who have not read Sherlock Holmes wrongly attribute it to the Hound of Baskerville

Bobby WolffFebruary 4th, 2021 at 4:27 pm

Hi Iain, & AVRR,

The Cavendish, both when originally held in New York city, then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada and finally to Monaco, as I remember it, was always played by IMPS, which, of course, covered the whole field, with a well attended team game preceding the hallowed money pair game (when each pair was auctioned off).

In addition the auctioneer was always a very clever feature and fixture (sometimes more than one well known bridge figure).

Yes AVRR, using weak two bids are thought to be basically a winning convention, and dutifully describing one’s hand while additionally serving as a sometimes effective preemption to the hated opponents, and while I agree to its effectiveness, but not without the disadvantage of allowing a clever declarer to better “guess” the hand, both offensively and sometimes even when merely defending as to the relative strength shown during the bidding.

However, to truly break down our game into advantages and disadvantages, all forms of bidding and even, of course, just passing also contributes to enough valuable information to play (starting with the opening lead) that hand as effectively as possible.

Making the entry of Sherlock Holmes and often his sidekick Watson into the discussion very appropriate and perhaps to be thought of as, a “howling success”.