Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, February 5th, 2021


2 Comments

Iain ClimieFebruary 19th, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Hi Bobby,

Interesting that if East switches to the SJ, South mustn’t play the SQ to avoid West having an extra entry. At least it was only pairs, though – imagine taking that back to your teammates! Even so, I felt East got a bit too busy here; if South had HJx and North AKxx then the H lead is very helpful whereas HQJ10x or similar would be far better if partner is going to lead them.

Was it matchpoint pairs or Butler scoring though? In the latter case it would have been as expensive as IMPs.

Regards

Iain

bobbywolffFebruary 19th, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Hi Iain,

Although it started out as sort of a mundane hand, it turned into a blockbuster, but since NS with Jimmy Cayne being South, won the battle, their +560 signified, to the victor go the spoils.

Please note that the heart lead is perhaps the only way to hold declarer to only seven tricks instead of the eight he will make without a heart lead (2 hearts, 3 diamonds and 3 clubs.

However the price for doing so was enormous and although, being pairs produced a top board, the approximate equivalent of losing a double digit swing in IMPs and/or a significant cache of green stuff at rubber bridge (if, as usual, winning money was the ultimate goal).

In a sense East, could be thought to do the right thing, induce West to lead a heart, the likely path to hold declarer to only seven tricks, but the ultimate cost by so doing, became grisly.

No doubt, in spite of the expected EW rancor later, but in some ways it could be thought of, a decent to a good operation all around, but “sadly doctor”, the patient died.

Our great game is subject to such goings on, with our most consistent winners very alert for attempting to be on the right side of such things.

However, I, like you, am speechless (apologies to others for that not occurring more often) but in reality, just chalk it up to what I think, is a positive rather than negative, feature with our beloved game.