Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 11th, 2021


Iain ClimieMay 25th, 2021 at 9:13 am

HI Bobby,

If East follows at T2 should South be playing the SQ, S10 or even the SA? My gut feel is the SQ which is wrong if nest has SK alone, right if he has SJ alone but which works well enough if East has SKJxx. If the SQ loses to the King of course (or the S10 to the SJ), and east follows small on the next round, declarer has a horrible decision knowing there is a right choice and that partner might helpfully say “You’d have made it if you’d played the instead”.



Iain ClimieMay 25th, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Hi again,

On the play hand, has South really not got the CA for his opening bid? West’s third heart wasn’t really thinking things through here although I accept that a diamond switch finding south with DQx (or even 10x) could be unfortunate. Ther eagain if South has DQx and the CA, west is just blowing an overtrick not the contract.



bobbywolffMay 25th, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Hi Iain,

While you are basically 100% correct in everything you say, since, in truth, with this defensive distributional nightmare combination (spade break almost entirely) this hand has become almost (if not completely), impossible to legitimately score up.

Therefore this clever declarer needed to resort to plan two, (deception) by isolating the diamond ace in dummy (opposite his void) in order to coax his unknowing, but decent opponents into handing him back, this more or less seemingly improbable task by your ruse, plus not playing with transparent cards, will, no doubt, still give the declarer a fighting chance. (how often does a sane declarer go off, leaving an isolated ace in dummy to go to sleep)?

What is impressive to me is that, in spite of a spade game easily being the outstanding final contract, the declarer, refusing to accept which is meant to be down one, stays with his task of, not being able to actually score it up, (actually risking down two), still creating a legitimate ruse to allow his, in fact reasonably adept opponents, to almost justifiably falter.

Final result, game in spades bid and made, declarer genius the reason with the (in this case), the given defense, a wrong, but understandable pass in blame.

Of course, possibly, if playing against the very best opponents (or, of course, even mediocre ones who are cheating, to which mediocre then becomes an overbid), declarer’s line of play may not work, but against any normal expectant foes, and IMO, declarer’s brilliantly applied thoughts, might just do the job.