Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, May 14th, 2021


MirceaMay 29th, 2021 at 1:54 pm

If South has SK and East has DK, shifting to SQ is bad. West must now shift to a diamond. Should East signal s/p at trick 1 (for diamonds)?

bobbywolffMay 29th, 2021 at 4:21 pm

Hi Mircea,

One of the most difficult chores for even a human with excellent bridge talent (usually determined by his arithmetical proclivity) to grasp is that in trying to play good bridge one has to realize the difficult to impossible task of not being dealt the cards to anywhere close to 100%, being able to defend without a speck of guesswork provided.

Here, and at trick one, East’s signal in hearts can only refer to his heart holding and nothing else. Therefore West, though not helped at trick one by his partner, can reason that declarer jumped to 3NT and yet the AQ of diamonds appeared in dummy, while he West had the jack. That fact alone would constitute fairly concrete evidence that the king of diamonds is with declarer, allowing the king of spades (although the suit bid by declarer) to reside with his partner.

Of course, then West must also be familiar with card combinations, allowing him to imagine the spot cards needed to make his play of the queen of spades necessary.

Yes, plenty to learn, and even for players who have the talent but lack the experience, of learning to think clearly about ways to both score up hands as declarer and set hands (together with partner) while defending.

It takes time to get there, but even if trying is all one can do, there is absolutely no doubt to me, that bridge is the greatest mind game ever conceived and offers serious players unlimited joy while doing so.

The best of luck to you, especially if you can share the same feelings as I.

MirceaMay 30th, 2021 at 12:27 am

Thank you very much Bobby for your reply. It helps immensely to learn how the masters think.