Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, May 31st, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJune 14th, 2021 at 11:18 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite instructive hand and it is very easy for declarer to commit mistake without seeing the winning line

bobbywolffJune 14th, 2021 at 1:33 pm


Your comment resonates loud and clear. Attempting to play consistently good bridge requires thought, experience and acquired talent.

Why? Simply because, whether a declarer or defender be, there are no sirens nor other less obvious indications usually present to warn either of danger, forcing that player to pay rapt attention, allowing him to overcome certain bad breaks or unfortunate locations of specific cards ever present.

Thus, along side well spent spare time, together with playing with and against the very best players available, a player (especially one who embraces arithmetic) will likely rise to what is necessary to succeed, but without those simple qualities, needs to acquire them, for if not, the playing of bridge will always likely just remain a social affair.

Iain ClimieJune 14th, 2021 at 5:05 pm

Hoi Bobby,

I note the guileful play of the D10 (not J) as a West with Qxxx won’t go charging in with the Queen in case South as DA109x and he turns 4 defensive tricks into 3. A minor point perhaps, but they all count.



bobbywolffJune 14th, 2021 at 5:18 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, and with it, a reminder of needing to fully concentrate on the hand about to be bid, often until a legitimate claim or last card has been played.

No time for diverting one’s mind or not fully devoting the time and energy to that hand and all that’s in it, and what is more, my whatever, to do less, will deny you being thought of as a worthwhile bridge player.

More truth than poetry!

Jeff SJune 14th, 2021 at 7:56 pm

Hi Bobby,

I wonder how many players would have looked to the 4-1 spilt as evidence that East was more likely to have the QD, finessed the second diamond and cursed their bad luck when the defense cashed out clubs. Maybe even explaining to partner that they had made the “percentage” play. And never realizing that the power of the J10 meant it did not matter who had the queen -a way better “percentage” play!

I would think partner would need to bite his tongue hard in that case.

bobbywolffJune 14th, 2021 at 9:36 pm

Hi Jeff S,

The question you ask is a legitimate one, and anyone experienced at bridge (and a good player to boot) should attempt to give his opinion.

My guess is simply based on the random brain not being able to assimilate bridge worthy evidence, until and unless he or she has had an opportunity to understand the presumed basis, therefore why or why not, questions about life’s logic are related to simple arithmetic, rather than more complicated higher mathematics.

IOW, not as many will immediately answer “Most”, correctly as you and I might expect, but possibly not thought by brain experts.

If the above is true (and I think it so, but others, knowing much more about it than I, might disagree), some of them vigorously.

Of course, your backward finesse (running the jack) might never occur to many others and why that is, also a mystery, but that too, needs to be carefully examined.

With sessions and problems such as we are discussing on the table, it may turn out to discourage many from ever taking up our beloved game.

The good news is that all the ones who have volunteered their time to ask questions and seek answers here, seem to be qualified with the correct answer, at least to the above standards, to which we agree.

Especially when, if I speak without forked tongue, there will just be too much blood from that presumed bite.