Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 21st, 2021


A V Ramana RaoMay 5th, 2021 at 12:19 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But perhaps south always goes down after diamond lead. Say he runs ten of spades at T2, east wins and returns diamond. South ruffs and if he returns a club, west hops up A and plays another diamond. South ruffs , reaches dummy with club to take spade finesse but south has no trump control. If he cashes remaining trump and plays heart, west can play A and lead another diamond promoting East’s trump. And if south after ruffing diamond return at T3, leads heart, west plays small, dummy wins and trump finesse taken and if south draws trumps, EW can cash diamonds. And if south plays club, west wins and returns diamond making south ruff and with heart A outstanding there is no way south can make the contract
And even if south plays a heart for leading trumps from dummy, west plays small, dummy leads trump, east splits, south wins, leads trump to A and leads trump . East wins and plays diamond forcing south. If south draws trump, EW cash diamonds and if he leads club, west will win and forces south again
On any other lead, south could have prevailed easily as it happens, east holds three card club and cannot get a club ruff and south has tempo to draw trumps without any trouble losing just one trump, one heart and a club
Or is it that I am grossly missing something?

bobbywolffMay 5th, 2021 at 1:08 pm


Although, like Jim2, my head hurts from playing and replaying this hand, methinks you are correct in your analysis.

At the very least, if some “Smart Alec” finds a winning line (after the diamond lead) we have two options:

1. Tell him he is wrong when he isn’t or 2. Hem and haw, but not answer and perhaps he’ll eventually go away, but not before our head has gone from just hurting, to thoroughly building up a hate for anyone who just doesn’t understand that our status, however wrong we may be, should never be subject to such malicious

What is this world coming to? Why should politics be allowed to tell such whopper lies but we, although incorrect, are not allowed to be scoundrels, by not admitting our not so occasional wrongdoing.

Iain ClimieMay 5th, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

I think the hand may be makeable double dummy by playing for the 4-0 break, leaving trumps alone and playing an early heart but that is hardly fair. I wonder if assuming spades are 3-1 (at best) is a more legitimate line, playing a heart to the K at T2 for example, then playing on clubs. If a spade is led to the 8 early on, perhaps South can even ruff the 3rd heart high and be able to take a spade finesse on the way back, eventually punching and/or endplaying East with a club.

I suspect South was a little unlucky here, but a very interesting hand nonetheless.



A V Ramana RaoMay 5th, 2021 at 2:53 pm

Hi lain
I am afraid that the hand never makes after a diamond lead even if south leads heart to K in dummy at T2. Now, if he plays a trump , easy will split. South wins and plays club . West wins and forces south with diamond. South will go down as EW are just one tempo ahead

Robert LiptonMay 5th, 2021 at 11:55 pm

I think, Bobby, the difference is that we are trying to accomplish something.