Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 30th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoFebruary 13th, 2021 at 11:46 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
The squeeze on east is inevitable if west leads any top suits and ironically , an initial club lead though would present a third club trick, would rob ninth trick from declarer but only Rueful Rabbit would have led it

Iain ClimieFebruary 13th, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

What happens if West kicks off with two top spades then plays a small D at T3?



A V Ramana RaoFebruary 13th, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Hi lain
East would be inexorably squeezed as dummy cashes both diamonds, south comes to hand with heart A, cashes diamond Q and throws West in with diamond, win the club return and last diamond and after two more clubs, in two card position , east cannot hold the fort any more

Iain ClimieFebruary 13th, 2021 at 1:54 pm


Yes, that works as the spades are chucked from dummy but South still has one. West’s opening bid does make life relatively easy for declarer.


bobbywolffFebruary 13th, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Hi AVRR & Iain,

This actual hand and much experience through the years likely will lead a talented player, starting out as the younger the better, to understand that squeeze endings, at least for declarer play, (rarely, but occasionally on defense), is probably the single most learned advantage necessary for high level competition.

Squeezes in general, appear much more readily and take various forms, pure squeezes, but also ones which facilitate a trick gaining end play are easily (I think) the more common.

Of course, the necessities seem to be card reading, accomplished by either the bidding, lack of bidding, opening lead, order of discards (particularly so while playing against inexperienced opponents), opponent’s signalling if done early before he or she realizes the declarer is also watching, and even sometimes, poignant hesitations (but rarely done while competing against a seasoned veteran declarer. However, all the above becomes essentially useless until and unless, while being the dummy, but always counting every hand if being three of the active participants, even if holding a complete Yarborough (synonym for a horrible and useless hand) if for no other reason than to attempt to confuse the declarer.

Therefore, the ambitious newcomer, in an effort to grow his game, needs to think bridge at his every opportunity, whether it is playing (best), kibitzing, reading, or discussing with a contemporary.

Also, like many other endeavors, very good bridge is similar to a jealous mistress who more often than sometimes, resents wasted opportunities and/or attention diverters.

Of course, I realize that you two are classic examples of having been there, done that and for many years, without which, at least IMO, there will hardly ever be a shortcut to take, and an acceptance to not try, will and no doubt, prevent a social bridge player from ever becoming addicted to our great game or, for that matter, being sought after as a partner.

Yes, one can still enjoy playing, but only as a random pass time, not ever as a feared opponent (with some Mollo and SJ Simon characters hilarious exceptions, but also at more times than desired, feared partners).