Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, March 8th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoMarch 22nd, 2021 at 2:04 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Today’s column and that of March 19th. Both are cold for game in minor today’s column five diamonds and the other one five clubs but the instinct is to play in 3 NT . Considering the higher side of points range, is it possible to explore

bobbywolffMarch 22nd, 2021 at 3:21 pm


Yes, 5 diamonds is cold, but in an ultra unusual way. Before arguing with you (I have learned to know better) it would take (against a passive lead which would be any heart or club lead, plus of course a diamond, but only from West. although if East would decide to lead his small one, (a devilish lead, by players who are unlikely to stay with playing bridge long), he would be presented it back as soon as the next round of diamonds would be led, this time by South.

From there, it would require declarer to strip the hands (of course, playing for a 3-3 club break, after ruffing South’s third heart)) before throwing East in with his diamond king and then finishing the hand successfully by ducking East’s low spade lead after forcing him to lead one.

Finally, life and bridge are sometimes difficult to both live up to expectations and stroke cards consistently well, but to even think about arriving at 5 diamonds, especially on today’s mixture, is way above anyone I know, pay grade and therefore your mere ask, becomes the giveaway of an intended spoof.

However, and no doubt, asking a new player if 5 diamonds could be made with a normal opening lead, might even be a good way to introducing him to our unpredictable and very special game.

Furthermore, your comment about exploration should then be restricted to only that above question.

David WarheitMarch 22nd, 2021 at 6:16 pm

There is an ice-cold contract today: 3NT by N. The bidding 1C-1D, 2D-3N.

jim2March 22nd, 2021 at 7:11 pm

David Warheit –

QS opening lead.

bobbywolffMarch 22nd, 2021 at 7:13 pm

Hi David,

How about against the lead of the 9 of spades from East? And then after several spade contortions, but none fatal to EW, at least I think, couldn’t West protect the hearts which would allow East to not get squeezed between hearts and diamonds?

What am I missing, which I suspect will be something?

David WarheitMarch 23rd, 2021 at 1:34 am

E leads S9, duck, duck and now N must also duck. Now a 2nd S by E and W ducks the K. This beats the contract but if 100 pairs were given this hand and bidding situation to defend, not one would do so. Also, Jim2 is correct, but no defender would ever make such a lead. Fun game, bridge!

jim2March 23rd, 2021 at 2:12 am

I agree that a spade lead is wildly unlikely but, if I were declarer, East would surely detach a heart only to see the QS fall face up onto the blaze.

TOCM ™ – the QS would migrate onto the playing surface.

bobbywolffMarch 23rd, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Hi David &, of course Jim2,

Thank you both for livening the game, David for his ever vivid imagination, and Jim2, for making all bridge players prefer even Covid19 to TOCM.