Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, April 12th, 2021


Iain ClimieApril 26th, 2021 at 9:06 am

HI Bobby,

On LWTA, where are the high cards? East has a weak hand, but partner hasn’t re-opened and LHO has made no try for game. Even gibing East (say) DAKJ to 6 or 7 and an outside J, somethign odd seems to be happening. The most plausible hand I can think of is that partner has something like a balanced 14 count with DQxx(x) and LHO has 0 or 1D with length in the other 3 suits and similar strength. If wither LHO or partner have any more than this, one of them is surely bidding.



bobbywolffApril 26th, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, South should think that both his LHO, West didn’t bid, but neither did his partner, North, suggesting that (in the absence of East being a beginner and not knowing the maximum suggested by an opening 3 level preempt), their relative strengths (perhaps a total of close to 30 hcps) are about equally divided, but almost a certainly, West’s decision to pass was based on no diamond fit, no more than 2 small and likely a singleton or even a void, therein the playing quality of losing diamond tricks swings the balance to the opponents for likely having no trouble making his contract and perhaps on a good day, an overtrick or two.

However, your partner’s hand will be favorable to your side, North being behind West and thus the cat, not the canary.

In practice, the above knowledge is of little value, but in time those thoughts become routine, as long as one was born with some mathematical talent and, of course, the assumed logic to make that knowledge helpful.

No doubt, a low spade should be led, since it has the best chance of taking immediate tricks, and then once the dummy is tabled, the defense can take it from there.

Nothing above should result in a revelation, but only a reminder of what our game is about, bidding, declaring and defending to the best percentage possible and, the always number ONE, your partnership making the fewer mistakes or expressed differently, the fewer misjudgments.