Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, April 26th, 2021


Steve ConradMay 10th, 2021 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for giving me TWO deals I can use to teach. This deal, as is, and a second deal in which East and South exchange South’s low spade for a low club from East. After teaching the first deal and the danger hand, the second makes both defenders danger hands for declarer. Now, declarer must play differently, cashing the AK of the longer red suit and then finessing (after cashing one high card) in the other if the queen does not fall in the first suit. Not every deal makes can also be taught!

Jeff SMay 10th, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Hi Steve,

Interesting alternate deal. I think you’d be teaching them that proper technique sometimes fails on a hand where Mrs Guggenheim might happily be toting up her overtrick and wondering what all the fuss is about as she might well follow the column line. In some ways, an even more valuable lesson that a bad result does not always mean you made a mistake and a good result does not always mean you played well.

bobbywolffMay 10th, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Hi Steve & Jeff,

Perhaps you two have noticed that we use Monday to describe lesser problem days for always bright beginners or call them enthusiasts, who are (hopefully), beginning to love our game.

Yes Jeff, Mrs Guggenheim, SJ Simon’s famous oft
stumbling character, being wildly unpredictable,
is liable to technically, when faced with an otherwise obvious choice, instead finesse into the danger hand, having it work and score up an extra overtrick while playing matchpoint duplicate at her favorite club.

Sometimes ignorance is bliss and sorrow must be felt for the victims, but no partnership is immune to such results, and taking it in stride is recommended, otherwise even very experienced ones, and the lesson to be learned, is not to let it materially effect the remaining hands by then deciding to try and immediately seek revenge, since to do so, often only makes it worse as well as not showing the discipline necessary to keep your partnership game at as high a level as possible, done so by continuing to almost always, (possibly with a few exceptions), to follow the immutable and most times friendly, law of averages, resting your reputations on its consistency, (but, of course, not close to 100%).

For the record, by your varied and intense interest, both of you seem to possess all the attributes necessary to be both excellent teachers as well as players, since the grounding necessary in today’s subject, especially our main point of discussion, pair discipline, seems well taken by both of you, including possibly the greatest asset of all, an overall sense of humor, able to keep your possible various partnerships and teaching moments within the proper context.

In any event, good luck to both of you!

Iain ClimieMay 10th, 2021 at 3:56 pm

Hi Bobby, Jeff S, Steve,

As winning and losing with good grace is considered part of “Best Behaviour at Bridge” I have a subtle way of complimenting bad declarer play which has fixed me. “Well played” to declarer means what it says; “well done” means congratulations on your totally undeserved and unforgivable lucky good result, you appalling dunderhead (or worse). It beats screaming at the ceiling and continues my not totally desreved reputation for beiong sporting – at least until / unless someone reads this.

I suspect on LWTA, where we really need partner to have SKJx, SKQx or HKQx (maybe K10x(x) if dummy has the Queen) whichever major we lead will find partner with the right holding in the other suit. They can’t have much more than that in high cards on the bidding but I suspect Jim 2 would do best to ask a passing drinks waiter to pick the S4 or H5 for him in the hope of avoiding his usual curse.



bobbywolffMay 10th, 2021 at 6:13 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt you have given excellent advice in the result of having been truly fixed by idiots. Of course, the old saws of (with teeth clenched)
directly to your torchorer. “When did you learn
to play bridge?, I know it was today, but what time, today” or perhaps “Why don’t you learn to take up this game since when and if you do, you’ll likely still finish last, but not by as much”.

Your suggestion about what Jim2 should ask the passing waiter to oblige is well intended, but unfortunately for him he has been dealt TOCMT, the fatal form (of bridge careers) which also applies, no matter who he asks to bid or play for him, “Theory of Card Migration Transfer”!

However I have heard about other unlucky souls (around ten others in the whole world) who also have been stricken and, although it has, to my knowledge, never been attempted, shanghai three of them to complete his table.

If so, that conclave will be treated to almost never having a contract made, but possibly fate will intervene and not allow such an effort to be accomplished, since two of those four players will, by sheer fortune, get (bite my tongue), at least decent to good results.