Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, February 25th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoMarch 11th, 2021 at 11:25 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
After diamond continuation, south can even set up his hand for example, cash spades and ruff a spade high. If east overruffs , he can return only a trump ( club concedes a trick and diamond provides a ruff and discard) south wins ruffs another spade and plays A and another club. With spades set up, club ruff will be entry to hand for drawing trump. And if east does not overruff, dummy leads club to South’s Q and west’s A. Trump return by West now doesn’t help as south has tempo

Iain ClimieMarch 11th, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Hi Bobby,
How sound is the advice to lead trumps when there is a 2 suited hand out there and their partner has given a clear preference? Examples would be a Mandy overall of 1N or an unusual notrump overall. Certainly works today.

If West’s spades had been stronger he might have found the lead but perhaps he hoped his partner could overruff dummy.



bobbywolffMarch 11th, 2021 at 4:00 pm


Yes, as always you set the standard for the right (and in truth, simplest) way to score up his would be game contract.

At least in my judgment, these types of hands are mistimed by players, even on their way up the ladder, which is acceptable, as long as their journey then allows them to see what they did wrong (usually in the timing) and profit from it in the near future, beginning the very next time.

IOW, a litmus type test, to simply determine how high that player’s ceiling will become, once he secures his wings on the way up, but sadly sometimes, the other way around.

Thanks for your continuing logical analysis, which can be a huge aid and therefore boost to those players mentioned above.

bobbywolffMarch 11th, 2021 at 4:18 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, you have generally described reasons for trump leads, especially when the opening leader is not cursed by having exactly three cards in declarer’s first suit.

Sure, on bad days, you will give away partner’s possible natural trump trick (often the queen) or if leading away from the jack, every bit as damaging, but bridge being the game it is, often may gain two or more tricks back in preventing declarer to make good use of separating his trump winners.

Strangely enough, as I think you will use your experience to attest, to lead a trump, as the opening leader, may be described by simply stating, as one develops his game, “you’ll learn to do it naturally and when it should be done, once you pass the initial stage of bowing to so many rules thrown at a person attempting to get better.

The one old bridge bromide of “When in doubt lead trump” is simply far from the truth, since when it is decided to do it, the opening leader should have a good reason, certainly with not being in doubt, likely the best example.