Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, June 17th, 2021


Iain ClimieJuly 1st, 2021 at 9:23 am

HI Bobby,

Good (if unavailing) effort by East as a more passive return(even a diamond) lets South win, cash 4 spades dumping a D from dummy, CAK, H to Ace and the the CQ ditching a diamond from hand when poor West is squashed. As it was, he managed to turn the end position into a criss-cross squeeze (I think) and there is often scope to misread such positions.

Today’s quote ties up nicely with some of my thoughts yesterday as well, although worrying alone doesn’t actually do anything useful.



bobbywolffJuly 1st, 2021 at 10:53 am

Hi Iain,

It’s always fun, not to mention very constructive, to have both the offense and the defense on their toes with both parrying in and dueling with both the attempted simpler single squeeze, but having the defense do their home (and table work) in forcing declarer to work harder for success.

This hand signals the latter and is an excellent guide to both fundamentals of the sophistication of squeeze play, plus the variations which force a guess, rather than just standard ho hum.

Thanks Iain for throwing your hat in the ring and being the leader of the band by doing so.

BTW, there may be a number of readers, who recognize that you, being in the European time zone, do have at least a slight advantage to shine, but since you always do, proving that being our exclusive European ever present bridge maestro, does allow everyone else, multiple positive moments.

Thank you for this and, of course, all your other incredible, almost daily help, on an always consistent and free lance, very pleasant and constructive basis.

Iain ClimieJuly 1st, 2021 at 12:08 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for that but don’t forget David Warheit who is your side of the pond but I seem to recall works unusual hours,. He and AVRR are often quicker off the mark – to say nothing of often being more accurate!

Perhaps it is worth mentioning Clyde Love’s classic “Bridge Squeezes complete” for those seeking a good text on the subject, although it can be a real brain basher in places. He does give the advice not to just flick through the book but to lay out a pack of cards to see what is happening. That is certainly worthwhile advice at all levels I suspect.



Iain ClimieJuly 1st, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Hi again,

A quick follow-up: could Mrs. Guggenheim beat this contract? She dutifully leads out the H4 from her longest and strongest suit which South (say) allows to run round to hand before ducking a diamond. Another H then wrecks the entry position. Even if South can see through the cards and plays DA then small throwing East in, the 2nd heart is again a killer. Ouch!



A V Ramana RaoJuly 1st, 2021 at 1:54 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff & lain
South indeed played well.
Doubledummy, I would declare this in the Moysian fit of six spades which is foolproof.
And if east t returns diamond after winning diamond, west is inexorably squeezed in red suits. No crisscross is necessary. And yes, heart lead would have doomed the contract

bobbywolffJuly 1st, 2021 at 2:51 pm

Hi again Iain,

Yes, many keen players like Love’s book and consider it a must read. If only someone named Like could write a competitive one, the natives could have some fun.

But when declarer led a small diamond from hand Mrs. Guggenheim rose with the king, carefully and cordially explaining that when a good player offers me a trick, I take it.

Later she questioned her partner, claiming she took her one trick, but her partner failed to take his.

bobbywolffJuly 1st, 2021 at 3:12 pm


No doubt Sonny Moyse was more on target than he was ever given credit for. However the 4-3 fit occurred much more often in bygone years when 4 card majors (still my favorite bidding tool) since final contracts were usually more quickly reached, not allowing those dastardly opponents to interfere as much, defense, particularly the opening leader less advantaged, and more often than realized, when necessary with occasional 4-3 fits, an extra trick obtained by at least one ruff, utilized in the short hand.

However, the card playing bridge society has cemented 5 card majors (cowardice won out) and we likely will never again honor Sonny Moyse, except with disbelief, akin to Robert Fulton and his steamboat.

Robert LiptonJuly 1st, 2021 at 3:21 pm

Many years ago, my longtime partner and I started using a 2/1 system because we felt our judgment and flights of fancy required a bit of a straightjacket. Time passed, and when I thought our judgment was improved, I suggested we play a stone age system, including 4-card majors. He never agreed, alas.

Bob Lipton

David WarheitJuly 1st, 2021 at 3:49 pm

Iain: Thank you for your great kindness to me here in California.

Iain ClimieJuly 1st, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Hi David,

My pleasure and I hope you’re keeping well. Also I hope this year’s fires in the state (and elsehwere – even NW Canada) aren’t too bad.



bobbywolffJuly 2nd, 2021 at 2:34 pm

Hi Robert,

No doubt your bridge history matched many across our country and even perhaps the world.

Five card majors, if nothing else, provides a proposed safety net to which many (too many to you and me) succumbed, especially when the powers that be, decided to embrace for practical and promotional reasons, but, at least to we two, became a step backward, not forward.

Good luck with first looking and then finding someone to embrace what we love, while all who then follow your success, will, no doubt, attribute it to just luck, not like long ago, when an unsuccessful Florida explorer, Ponce de Leon, who in your case would have instead found the fortune of namely, very good bridge results, but to him, the Fountain of Youth, instead of more of the same, just not available.