Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, June 16th, 2021


Iain ClimieJune 30th, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Hi Bobby,

As often happens, the ability and, more importantly, willingness to count up to 9 when playing 3N makes all the difference. Perhaps South had been playing too much pairs (again) but he might have got lucky at IMPs if the other room were in 4H and went off on a spade lead. Unfortunate to blow the bidding gain on bad play.

A quick question, though. Some players lead the C8 from 108xx, treating the 10 as not an honour. I don;t mind that from 98xx but would much prefer to lead small from 108xx. What are your views on the better approach here, does defending suit or NT make any difference and am I just being slightly weird with the view above?



Steve ConradJune 30th, 2021 at 12:14 pm

I am on the side of the “10 is an honor” crowd on this one. Fortunately, my partners concur.

bobbywolffJune 30th, 2021 at 1:38 pm

Hi Iain & Steve,

Yes, I agree with both of you. However as much as giving the 10 importance (especially when joined by another higher honor with partner) the eight is just too valuable to sometimes (but too often) become a worthless victim, when, if used in several “pusher” positions (envision AJx, KJx or even QJ with partner and to the right of that, several 4 card holdings including the 9) can mean as much as a chance for a full trick gain. Finally an 8 to a ten is, in its own way, often as valuable as a jack is to an ace.


However Iain, when holding the 98x(xx) the 9 lead can be more easily indicative (to partner) of that specific overall holding, without the immediate costing of a trick and (everything else being equal) is quite often preferred.

Your question, as always, would only be “weird” if that partnership did not discuss as to meaning, when, and, if any exceptions.

Iain ClimieJune 30th, 2021 at 2:25 pm

Thanks Steve and Bobby,

I also quite agree with that old-fashioned edict on Waste and not just at bridge. Although I work in engineering risk assessment I have a more important research interest.

I quoted the IMechE’s “Waste Not Want Not” report on food waste in an online article I wrote on food security at . Not recommended reading for the nervous, though, especially as there are some scenarios where we could wind up with “Soylent Green” on the menu. That 1973 film is looking worryingly prescient, even if 2022 is a little early for its predictions; only a little though if we’re not careful. It is absurdly easy on paper to boost production massively but in reality there are many reaons why they rarely work.


bobbywolffJune 30th, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Hi Iain,

Since I was not lucky enough to see nor hear about “Soylent Green” on the menu, my guess is dire as to its presence.

And, after reflection, it is no wonder that after a career in risk management, you have been attracted to our beloved game as a real life example of “turvy-topsy”.

However, instead of being ultra conservative, you seem to be closer to following Rudyard Kipling’s marvelous “IF” and, although not necessarily practicing what you probably have preached at the office, your overall approach to our game is more aggressive than most.

Whatever. but in a one word description, it is and no doubt “becoming”.

Iain ClimieJune 30th, 2021 at 4:01 pm

HI Bobby,

Thanks for that, and there is a plot spoiler readily available as to what Soylent Green is made from. Let’s just say that recycling, which is normally a good idea, can be taken a step too far!