Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, February 17th, 2021


jim2March 3rd, 2021 at 12:11 pm

Is there any reason why declarer should not cash the AD at Trick 2?

bobbywolffMarch 3rd, 2021 at 3:32 pm

Hi Jim2,

Good point, but IMO it is probably a close percentage between doing so and/or not.

True, it would, especially if the queen would drop, solve right at almost 100% of the possible demons associated with not. It also may cover the relatively small chance that by so doing, it would eliminate the early chance of foul distribution allowing a brutal ruff-in by an ugly opponent who would then cash the setting heart trick. But, and of course, that ruff would also be with a singleton trump signifying a very much against the odds holding, by a defender.

Both of us are well aware that figuring out what the exact percentages are for such a layout is a possibility but I don’t recommend having to do such, since it is a mammoth chore and a sure head hurt (ironic, since you were the first to mention that pain many years ago, associated with figuring out unusual percentages, with it probably requiring multiple aspirin before finishing that experiment).

Finally, since my guess the result of doing so would be quite close, leaving declarer with some leeway later to possibly finesse for the queen of diamonds provided his table feel, based on the specific cards played by his opponents during the strip, might either lead to a winning percentage play or even possibly, on a beautiful day, a sure fire certain inferential way to play the trump.

However, I prefer to give you a mulligan, meaning your porridge was neither too hot nor too cold, but yes, other idiots like you and I may be the only ones interested on an exact number for that percentage, but perhaps you have sucker punched someone to do the considerable math.

Mircea GiurgeuMarch 3rd, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Hi Bobby,

Do you agree with South’s 3NT rebid? Even with this dummy that contract goes down

bobbywolffMarch 3rd, 2021 at 7:05 pm

Hi Mircea,

No I do not. However, on this hand, the declarer could take anywhere between 8 and 13 tricks, depending on how he guesses the suits, with, of course, the diamond guess by every measure, the key one.

However, while 3NT probably should not be the majority choice, (3NT should show a more solid seven card suit, with about the same value as this one) for a rebid, it certainly is in the mix, if only because of the other less than perfect selections:

1. 2NT, which only would get a raise to 3NT, expecting an easy make, but being disappointed,

2, My choice, although certainly not an almost unanimous pick would be an artificial 3 clubs, since a mere 3 diamonds, considering its overall strength, is just too much of an underbid.

However, by doing so, and getting raised to 4 clubs, which would cause South to now fear a possible misunderstanding would then likely respond 4 diamonds, causing North to revalue, but in doing so, he would like to show some belated diamond support,, but with three key cards, might have to go off the beaten path and chance a 4 spade cue bid, which should mean exactly that, since his 4 club bid, might have denied a long and/or strong suit.

If so, and NS were in tune, South could jump to 6 diamonds and should make it by the column’s choice of play.

What we all should glean from this hand is the need for more room in the bidding, to which a forcing club system would be ideal to start with, and most, if not all, forcing club systems would likely reach that preferred contract, while regular bidding methods may easily miss it.

At least to me, a keen forcing club system does offer what I think is the better choice, but in order to accomplish, would establish a commitment to spending much time in discussing the various and unique nuances of the various turns in the road such a venture demands.

And so it goes. From your point of view, you asked a simple question, but this time, you got a long winded response. Hopefully, at least somewhat productive.

Good luck!