Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, February 1st, 2021


David WarheitFebruary 15th, 2021 at 11:22 am

You note that S has “fair intermediates”. I only see one, the C10. S can be very fortunate he does not have more, specifically either the C8 or C9, instead of the C5. If he were so unfortunate, he not only needs D to behave (E holding either Qx or Kx or D 4-4), but he needs E to hold either CQ singleton or doubleton, in which case he must plan to finesse in C at trick 2.

Thank you for your kind remarks recently. I’m just fine and scheduled for my first Covid shot on Friday. (Sometimes it helps to be old). I see no need to comment when you have described everything perfectly (a talent you seem to have in spades, not to mention hearts, diamonds and clubs) or if there is something not discussed (probably because of lack of space) that is worth discussing, such as in today’s hand.

Iain ClimieFebruary 15th, 2021 at 2:50 pm

Hi David,

Great to hear from you and look after yourself.



bobbywolffFebruary 15th, 2021 at 3:59 pm

Hi David,

No doubt, or perhaps just a trifle, the later conversation between North and South would go, of course after the ace of diamonds was played at trick one and the club finesse was then taken through East later: North, “Good judgement partner in bidding game, possessing that jack 10 of clubs made the difference and
you obviously recognized that”. “No problem, and I’m sure you would have done that and also taken the club finesse”.

As against, North, if in fact West would have held Qx in clubs instead of the three of hearts, “Well, 3NT bid and made, bid by us, made by them, down 5”.

“My fault since I could have passed 1NT with only 8 hcps, not to mention your overbid to three and your club miss guess”, but if so, I still would have been disappointed in going down 3 tricks while in 1NT.

“BTW, let’s call off our bridge game tomorrow since I think I am going to have a headache”.

Only kidding! Well, sort of!

And thanks for the very kind words. With the presence of so many really good players (and I am understating it) on this site, little is left to either the imagination or the understanding when any one of them states his case.

When we recognize that talent plus the careful all inclusive presentation usually accompanying the discussion I, in all my many years in bridge, could not imagine anyone luckier than me with having this all come together.

I, of course, hope it will never end, but when and if eventually it may, it means more to me than anything else I’ve ever accomplished.

Let me join with Iain in asking you and all associated with us to stay safe. Judy and I got our first Covid shots about two weeks ago and at a Walgreens drug store. Finally an advantage for you and us for not being spring chickens.

bobbywolffFebruary 15th, 2021 at 4:06 pm

Hi Iain,

Thanks always for adding your love and care to all you so convincingly touch.

No doubt you would have been in 3NT making on today’s hand. Therefore scoring up contracts, rather than friends (not including your lucky partner).

bobbywolffFebruary 17th, 2021 at 1:10 am

Hi David,

Your post about intermediates or lack of them is IMO, if anything, an underbid, but more to the point, only a fancy start to what, in fact, is only a guessing game.

Lets examine the AJ10, by first placing it opposite a singleton. It now, depending on what direction is on lead is no loser when being led through, but if led up to, becomes two tricks in NT and a fair chance for two straight tricks when declaring a suit, or perhaps two eventual tricks, but at the possible loss of one.

Other combinations such as K109 opposite Qx or A109 opposite Jx as well as K102 opposite J9 or even J8 fluctuate, depending on need for declarer and, of course,whether declaring or defending a suit contract or one in NT.

This could be a never ending discussion with very little learned that most of us already know, but what it all means is possibly best summed up with: “Very difficult to talk in understandable bridge language, but instead, all experienced players must deal with it”.

IOW, as a bridge columnist, as well as all very experienced players have known for years, discussing the value of intermediates is similar to Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Everyone talks about the weather but no one ever does anything about it”.

And doing something about it would only have to include an approximate value of so many card combination while holding a “fair amount of intermediates” Add to that the very changeable value for certain holdings, usually totally dependent on playing either a NT or suit contract, plus the level, the location, who is now on lead, and, of course both sides usually focusing on what it will take to make the contract or defeat it.

Fun? Yes, Scientific?, Yes, Challenging? You betcha, but never forgetting that lady luck always has the facility to only please one partnership, not both, and since random card combinations occur on most hands (well over 50%, I think) the end result becomes the only goal.

My only salient point is that no one person is ever going to master our game, if by master, I mean be right an inordinate number of times over a significant period.

Isn’t that the main reason that some choose to cheat? I think so, but in so doing, destroys all wonderful aspects to which our game represents, therefore the equivalent of ending our game for good if it is not stopped stone cold by the rest of us who only wish that more high-level players would suddenly appear to add the glory and respect our best ever mind game should, in its own way, represent.

Meyer House PricelistFebruary 20th, 2021 at 12:39 am

It’s been a while since the last article, glad to see there’s a new one out.