Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, June 1st, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJune 15th, 2021 at 9:04 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
This is a repeat of yesterday’s column including the Camus quote

Iain ClimieJune 15th, 2021 at 10:56 am

Hi AVRR, Bobby,

If you think about Sisyphus, having the same page again does have a certain relevance. British fantasy author Terry Pratchett came up with an evil twist to the story though. He has a character who, like Sisyphus, is in Hades (or its equivalent), and who is condemned forever to try to push a rock to the top of a hill, narrowly failing each time. The nightmare is that before every attempt, a demon reads to him hundreds of pages of health and safety regulations on the safe handling and movement of heavy objects. The mental cruelty is just so much worse although there is a bridge analogy involving a story about a Mr. Kremelkopf in “The Bridge Player’s Bedside Companion”.

He is playing rubber bridge and absent mindedly trumps his partner’s King after the Ace has already gone. His enraged partner shoots him between the eyes but, a while later, he wakes up with no sign of the wound and is in a plush club where he is invited to play bridge, with the possibility if he wins of escorting one of the very attractive club hostesses. He is introduced to the other 3 players, reaches a dodgy 6N which he makes (as his partner’s psychic reverse on a singleton Ace deters the winning lead) only for the denoument – see a few lines below for the plot spoiler).


The hand proves to have only 51 cards so the deal is off. He calls over the hostess and asks for another pack as this one is a card short. All our packs have 51 cards she says. But this is hell shouts Mr. K; of course, comes the reply, where did you think you were?



Iain ClimieJune 15th, 2021 at 11:25 am

A minor point on yesterday’s / today’s hand – the text should really note that declarer has to cash 3 spades in hand when the trump split appears before playing to the DK and then drawing the last one.

Steve ConradJune 15th, 2021 at 12:41 pm

If I ever see this deal a third time, it will be “a piece of cake” for me. Unlike yesterday, today’s deal is much clearer. In fact, I am anticipating being able to do tomorrow’s deal with my eyes closed.

bobbywolffJune 15th, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Hi AVRR, Iain, & Steve,

Thanks for doing your best to downplay a serious gaffe.

Only apologies, at least at this point, can be offered and although it is right at 6AM where I live, Judy and I are trying to, if you’ll excuse the expression, move forward (one day specifically).

Hoping to solve as quickly and painlessly as possible!

Thanks to all three of you, especially for Steve’s
optimism, when lightheartedness feels best.

Also Iain’s suggestions toward better declarer play rings true, perhaps proving that we all would bid and play better, if we took a day or so, on every hand. So what if it took a month to play 30 boards.

One thing for sure is that, as a group, we would make fewer mistakes.

bobbywolffJune 15th, 2021 at 1:41 pm

Hi Everyone,

Hallelujah! Hopefully, only minor inconveniences

Thanks to everyone concerned, but sad that today wasn’t April 1st (April fools day in the USA) where my excuse might have been believed.

Iain ClimieJune 15th, 2021 at 2:27 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks as ever for your efforts. Now the chance to comment on today’s hand…


bobbywolffJune 15th, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Also, just like only a single card missing may create the “hell” everyone fears, it becomes how amazingly good one feels, when a problem is solved.

The above translated into real life could mean that without bad events ever present in real life, perhaps “lucky” events will lose their joy.

David WarheitJune 15th, 2021 at 9:07 pm

I woke up early this morning, so I decided to read the bridge column, only to discover that our host had made the worst mistake that a bridge player can make: HE FORGOT TO SHUFFLE THE DECK! I hope everything is OK with you.