Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, May 18th, 2021


Iain ClimieJune 1st, 2021 at 10:55 am

Hi Bobby,

7D anybody? Playing pairs and looking at the 2 hands though 7N is easy barring a heart lead and 3-0 D break. Maybe that is why par contests fell from fashion – you know there’s some sort of trick, trap or similar. Normally nobody warns you.


Iain Climie

Iain ClimieJune 1st, 2021 at 12:25 pm

OK sorry – you mentioned 7D and 7N still unravels due to entry problems unless the D9 is singletons. Curse if Scotland and all that – allegedly the card on which “Butcher” Cumberland wrote the order to hunt down and kill Highlanders defeated at the battle if Culloden


Steve ConradJune 1st, 2021 at 12:51 pm

I played in a Par Contest in Manhattan around that time — but I think the one in which I played was in 1962 or 1963, but possibly in 1961. Were there such contests in those years also? I had saved the booklet then, but that was close to 60 years ago. The booklet was lost many years ago. I think this one is fairly easy for a par contest. I am surely NOT an expert, yet this one seemed old hat. I added this to my over 50 similar deals which I categorize as “Sacrificing a Trick to Reach Dummy.”

Patrick GageJune 1st, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Hi! Maybe I have missed something, but it seems to me that you CAN cash one round of Diamonds first if you want. It would go D A,-,2,3. Then lead the 7, overtaking with the 8, and E must win with the 9 to take you off the board. If he leads a third round, then your 5 goes to your dummy’s 6.

Patrick GageJune 1st, 2021 at 3:27 pm

I see my mistake: you’re cut off from the H A!

bobbywolffJune 1st, 2021 at 4:38 pm

Hi Iain and a cordial welcome to Steve,

Many years ago comedian Lew Lehr commented:

“Monkeys is the cwaziest peoples” and this hand proves that the same is true with some bridge hands.

My guess Iain, is that “par” contests did not go out of style because of their always highly unusual bridge position, but because their relation to rational bridge occurred so rarely, with BRIDGE BEING DIFFICULT ENOUGH WITHOUT SUCH GAMBITS, who needs it.

However, at least to me, the ability to solve them does, in fact, twist the mind favorably toward the wonders which our game can produce, thereby whetting the appetite to explore further.

And Steve, thanks for tuning in to our site to which your experience could add to some lively discussions and I do agree with you that in substance, this par contest problem is relatively easy, if only because of the simple reason being, the “craziest” solution offers little choice.

However Iain is right on when he suggests, if no “par” contest is stated, then carelessness with this baby would rule the day.

Jukka KorpelaJune 3rd, 2021 at 4:23 am

In 6NT, declarer should cash the diamond ace after cashing black-suit aces. If the 9 falls or if both defenders follow suit (so that the 9 can then be dropped next by the king), declarer makes 13 tricks. Only when diamonds are 3–0 is the method of leading low from hand needed to make the contract.