Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, January 26th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoFebruary 9th, 2021 at 1:55 pm

Hi Dear Mr. Wolff
Quite an instructive hand illustrating the avoidance play and landing the contract if hearts are 3-3. Even in first case when dummy wins the second diamond and leads a low heart, east should be awake and insert J/10 and when south wins west should cooperate to jettison Q of hearts and now, east can gain lead for a club push but the play describing pitching a heart on third diamond does not give any chance for defense. Quite imaginative
And hope you don’t mind the musings of a lazy dreamer: while reaching four spades on the hand is science, reaching three NT by south would be pure art and after the natural lead of a diamond, if west does not get rid of those high diamonds , he would be mortified to concede tenth trick to south

Iain ClimieFebruary 9th, 2021 at 3:25 pm

Hi AVRR, Bobby,

If South did manage to find 3NT, there isn’t even the usual excuse of wanting to play the hand. I’m wondering about going back to a few hand records from the clubs where I used to play just to find out how many 8, 9 or even 10 card major suit fits would have been better in 3NT, at least barring deep finess’s double dummy machinations. A typical hand for this might be AKQJxx Qx J10x Axx after 1S – 1N (old fashioned 6-9 and perhaps a dustbin reply rather than forcing NT). Of coiurse 4S (or 3S) might be better, or partner might annoyingly hold x KJ10xxx Kx Jxxx or similar but I think there are more game swings out there than we might suppose. Alternatively, if needing a game swing, 3N is surely a better shot on the hand I quoted than 3S / 4S – at least provided the other room does’t think so too.


Bobby WolffFebruary 9th, 2021 at 3:37 pm


As usual you have not only described the play, but with it, all the side features, which should be of great help to a talented and dedicated bridge reader, the younger the better.

Of course to most bridge lovers, the main reason for paying attention is for entertainment, which we try to fulfill, but your then analysis will, with little doubt, more than satisfy optimistic and ambitious players who want to add spurs to their bows and arrows and reach higher echelons of the game by merely using their bridge brains to not only see and feel the result, but, most importantly, to thoroughly understand why it happened.

Thanks for your continual dedication to make our column the absolute best it can be, but bemoan so many wannabe potential good to great players who are unable (for one reason or another) to share the above experience.

BTW, and on a lighter note, the above description mentions bridge brains, which, in turn could sound like bird to some, but, if so, apologies for that coincidence which is not intended, but perhaps with a few exceptions through the many years.

Bobby WolffFebruary 9th, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Hi Iain,

I fear that you and other actual and/or potential river boat gamblers are often prone to attempt to either win the hand, match, tournament, or just bragging rights on any one hand when your above subject (as today) is discussed.

Methinks then flies to possible examples in my past which either serve as both goods and not so, but for the life of me, my memory stays blank with even one hand to present.

Perhaps my lack of the imagination necessary has not served me well and for that I will apologize to my partners and teammates, if any are still alive. However then my thoughts went to why some of them haven’t made it this far, and I did come to the conclusion that my not doing so was likely not the reason, but if I had shown the imagination necessary to do just that, I would likely be left on earth, entirely alone, except for my specific opponents on those attempts.

IOW, where there is a time and/or place for just about everything in life, regarding bridge opportunity, there are IMO, few to none regarding that experiment, and the few which might work, remain unlikely and almost impossible to recognize when and if they do.

Other than that I have no opinion whatsoever.

However on your stated example above with the AKQJxx of spades and scattered high cards elsewhere, without a singleton I would also raise my partner to 3NT, but before I do, I would toss a little club under the table so as to appear legitimate, especially while playing for high stakes and not forget to convince partner to try and claim only nine tricks in order to be sporting and get on with the game, my stated reason being “giving the opponents more time to play more hands and win their money back”.

Iain ClimieFebruary 10th, 2021 at 5:31 pm

Anyone seen Feb 10th’s post – I’m still stuck on this.

bobbywolffFebruary 10th, 2021 at 6:31 pm

Hi Iain,

All either Judy or I can do is inform our lady, (Eva Marie) responsible for posting our daily column (which has been done, well over an hour ago), that the column is not yet up. History then suggests, that usually, within a relatively short time, corrects that glitch with the column then appearing, and, at least for then, the problem is solved.

While the above is merely a way to get it done, it has certainly produced mild to severe trauma to both Judy and me, the longer it takes, the more troubling becomes the trauma.

Naturally (and I speak for Judy) this site has taken on a mind and body all its own, to which I have become completely attached, like a child of my own, fearful in many ways, yet virtually powerless to correct both severe and petty abuses. All of my attempts to have a greater ability to avoid these glitches have been met with stony silence.

For all the above, I sincerely apologize, first to you Iain (sincere and loyal to the heavens), and, of course to all of the glorious others who, at least according to me, represent everything which allows our game to be its very best.

Of course my hope is fast track correction, but for what else I can do is only contact Lisa Marie and ask her to right this wrong, which apparently is not seen to be the giant albatross to which I think, feel, and abhor its existence.

Yes Judy’s and my patience, and guessing many others, have reached a dangerous level.

Iain ClimieFebruary 10th, 2021 at 6:52 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks and it is there now plus a comment from me.