Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, June 14th, 2021


jim2June 28th, 2021 at 12:03 pm

In the column hand, the 8H and 10H are equals after the first trick, so why play the 10H?

In BWTA, the QD is indeed attractive, but I might lead a spade here. Partner did not guarantee more than four diamonds. In fact, if partner were 4-4-3-2 with 14 points, would not 1D be the opening bid of choice? Meanwhile, both opponents seem to be openly enthusiastic to play notrump after that 1D opening. Additionally, both opponents had chances to bid spades and did not, so my five card holding makes the lead look safe even if I cannot cash up long tricks in it.

Iain ClimieJune 28th, 2021 at 1:32 pm

Hi Jim2,

Dummy is down to HKQ10 at T2 so it is merely a question of whether to finesse or not. I’m staggered though – 8 (and only just)! I got to be a life master in the UK around 24 and thought I was doing well. A lovely please pf clear thinking which could easily be missed by far older players.



Iain ClimieJune 28th, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Make that piece of ….

jim2June 28th, 2021 at 2:49 pm

Yeah, somehow I forgot that the dummy had to follow suit to the AH!!!

Iain ClimieJune 28th, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Hi Jim2,

It’s Monday – never so good. Look up various Garfield cartoons e.g. “You know it’s Monday when you find a landmine in your breakfast”.

Take care!


A V Ramana RaoJune 28th, 2021 at 3:53 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Just wondering, whether there is a mechanism to reach three NT on this hand. Grateful if you can throw some light
And Jim 2 : if only south had another heart, he certainly would not be play ten from dummy

bobbywolffJune 28th, 2021 at 4:29 pm

Hi Jim2,

Theory of card migration is unlucky enough for the meaning of TOCM, so please do not now include “taking over character’s mind”.

As a top chef must have at sometime once said, “A mind is a terrible thing to baste”, we need you fit and ready to keep your full twenty year reign or so record, of never having made a mistake so I’m thinking of changing the heart suit in dummy to KQ98 and give East the singleton jack, or. better yet and of course, while playing slowly, trying to confuse declarer, but winking to partner, who was leading from Ax with East being 1-5-6-1, and, also of course, his singleton spade an honor, or simply giving all the intermediate higher trumps to NS.

However, yes, the damage is done, forcing, when and if the “pandemic” reappears in force, it will have to take second place, across the broad world in news worthiness, to today’s extraordinary event.

Love and kisses,

Your former adoring fans

bobbywolffJune 28th, 2021 at 4:39 pm

Hi Iain,

Perhaps, by fiat we could propose to eliminate Monday’s and also then, at the same time, sneak through a three day (instead of only Saturday and Sunday) weekend.

With control of my country now passed to the liberals, that notion or rather motion is likely now being seriously considered, with of course higher wages also attached.

Only kidding, but obviously mentioned for personal protection!

bobbywolffJune 28th, 2021 at 5:00 pm


Of course and of course, of course.

Yes, as the column mentions, South might choose to just bid 3NT instead of hoping for the 4-4 spade fit, that he has optimistically bartered for.

What have we learned? At least to me, not necessarily which of the two options is better, 4 spades or 3NT, but rather the advantage West has seeked, “being a tough opponent’ with his risky preempt.

If I was asked as to what the most important qualities are for becoming a top draw player, I would rank “being that really tough opponent”, right there, alongside being an extremely formidable player”.

Keeping the above thought in mind, when one instead opts to be solid, knowledgeable, and consistent, but over limits his chance taking, he, not known to him directly, has downgraded his effectiveness more than he suspects.

Just my individual thoughts and from experience, not conclusive data.

The one variable which stands out, (at least to me) is that slam bidding requires very careful handling and thus needs to be taken ultra seriously.

However, while that is universally believed, credit needs to go to their opponents,
if vulnerability and the scoring system is taken into account, if they are able to preempt during, their chances for success, while they are considering slams, go up exponentially, not just a bit.