Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, March 10th, 2021


Iain ClimieMarch 24th, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Hi Bobby,

I’d probably have led a diamond form the West hand on the basis that partner is likely to have the A or Q (or maybe dummy has DAQ oppsite a singleton and declarer doesn’t finesse and it is safer than leading a spade. Wrong (and then some); as you say, opening leads really are the thing to get right.

In reply to Jim2’s question yesterday, either the 2S bidder decided to pass the 1S overcall with CAKQ10xxx as 2C would be GF (3C would surely make sense though) and is looking for a spade stop or the bidder realised he’d dropped two aces and a king on the floor. Alternatively 2S was an attempt to bid 2C / 2D and finger trouble. Rational altternatives don;t spring to mind so I’d love to know what he held.



jim2March 24th, 2021 at 4:50 pm

Iain –

So would I!!

The partner that presented me the Q was passing it along from another, and he had simply promised to pass back my reply. That partner and I have had some fun exchanges over the years, like I call his preferred weak notrump “the work of the Devil” but suck it up and agree to play it with him anyway.

One of our core bidding philosophy deltas concerns strange bids.

I said I would ask Our Host and Company here, but my own reply went something like this:

My partner’s position is that all strange bids were forcing.

My position is that one had better be prepared to play any strange bid that was not doubled.

I can see my partner defending 2S saying that he cannot:

1) have good spades because then he would have passed the double.

2) have a heart fit because he would have found a bid over 1S

3) have a good suit because he would have bid it.

4) have a spade stopper because he would have found a NT bid.

5) be 4-1-4-4 w/o a spade stopper because he did not make a negative double.

He would be telling me all that as I made my estimate of our likely MPs result from his playing 2S. I would retort that I figured that his holding 1-6-3-3 with a poor hand could not be ruled out. That is, he felt he had a better chance of taking 7 tricks playing 2S than taking 7 defending 1S.

If he then replied that he was “obviously” asking me to bid NT if +++I+++ had a spade stopper, I would respond then he needed to find a bid over 1S.

Iain ClimieMarch 24th, 2021 at 5:29 pm

Hi Jim2,

Sherlock Holmes and the “eliminate the impossible, what is left must be true although really improbable” approach come to mind. I reckon he’d lost 2 Aces in there so passed his 13 count and is now panicking. I’d try to go back and track down the original culprit though.



bobbywolffMarch 24th, 2021 at 6:43 pm

Hi Iain & Jim2,

For me (refer back to yesterday, when I finally spotted Jim2’s response), but in reality and IMHO the meaning of that bid has about the same probability of being both understood and appreciated as does playing one tournament bridge match in four rooms with or without tablets and for that matter with or without either cards or players.

Not that anyone is doing anything wrong to suggest it, only that it will never pass or sustain muster!

Possibly DRACONIAN penalties for future cheating, even 1st timers, (and a complete cleansing worldwide and truth telling of the past 70+ years with only common sense replacing stupid rebuttals by those who enjoy throwing monkey wrenches into realism, resulting in nothingness.

Oliver Wendell Holmes would be proud and so would the English judges back 1000+ years ago when justice was first being studied and formed, then slowly becoming more consistent, until the idiots wrested it away and still are in control, leading up to where we are now, victims of abject FAILURE!