Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, July 2nd, 2021


Iain ClimieJuly 16th, 2021 at 9:17 am

Hi Bobby,

On BWTA, what is rhe upper limit on strength for partner’s 2D rebid here? Obviously with 18-19 points, they’ll come up wooth 3D, 2N or similar but what about (say) AQ10xx Qx KJxx AJ when passing 2D is missing game? Woudl that hand be better bidding 2N, though, and what happens if you remobve the CJ?



bobbywolffJuly 16th, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Hi Iain,

While you have suggested almost everything worth mentioning, it still remains a valid question as what might serve as the “bridge player’s correct choice”.

Certainly with your example including the jack of clubs (with the ace) 2NT, or even a “to hell with it, 3NT” (to oneself), might win the argument (note how valuable that jack of clubs could be when partner had what he had). Without it, my instincts are still to go for it and choose at least 2NT.

Remember, while your opponents may be significantly above average, there is still much guesswork in defense, particularly in the choice of opening lead, as well as specific cards being located strategically.

To me, the more important decision maker is the pressure on opponents, particularly in IMPs or rubber bridge with having to defend a game instead of a less significant part score.

Of course, with matchpoints, your choice will usually result in almost half a board’s supply and if someone was to ask, I would expect more than 50% of a decent field to be in game, not languishing lower.

Besides, optimism with our game leads to more confident eventual feelings, since when the opponents fail to find their best defense, it seems hollow to their benefactors when their choice of conservatism, seriously lowers their score.

As a final reminder, the above type of North’s hand is often opened 1NT (overcoming imperfect factors such as exact point count or less than being thought to be balanced, and finally keeping in mind that honor combinations held together (AJ) usually are more valuable except, of course, when they are not).

Finally, the immediately above comment only, at times, may be more troublesome, even to expert opponents, since the bidding usually doesn’t give away as much information, while winding in 3NT (often nicknamed, a winner’s favorite contract).

Jeff SJuly 16th, 2021 at 5:51 pm

Hi Bobby,

One of the fascinating things about bridge is that superior skill generally only manifests over time. I spent a long and enjoyable time trying to solve this hand and in the end, yes, my solution worked (unless I am missing something), but only with a bit of luck.

I led back a heart right away planning to switch to clubs if it was ducked (which works today…). If it was taken and a diamond or spade was led, I’d eventually get to the board and lead the JC not caring which opponent took it (or even if it was ducked as I could continue with ace and another).

That left the queen taking the second trick and leading back a third heart when I was going to lead the 10C and hope that 1) East does not have the king and 2) if he does, hearts are not 5-3, and 3) if they are, West has the five and does not have a spade entry.

As it happens, East does not have the king and all is well and I go on to the next hand never knowing there was a better way to do it. Lucky for me, you wrote a column about it. All any of us can hope for is to learn a little more each day, in bridge and life and have some fun along the way. And this hand was a LOT of fun.

bobbywolffJuly 16th, 2021 at 7:16 pm

Hi Jeff,

Most of all, thanks for your thoroughly upbeat attitude which bodes well for your hoped for, increasing interest.

Some, like appears your hidden bridge talent, start out optimistic, but the glitches in the road, (and there are many) tend to slow down the desire, sometimes and sadly, ending it.

Many of what may be thought to be difficult sights, vanish with the morning light, making the patience needed, right.

Yes bridge can be both challenging and, as you say, a LOT of fun. When one can be like you and even endure a difficult session, but still regard it as a successful learning experience,
the overall and eventual battle is as good as won.

Thanks for all you bring both to the game itself, and for that matter to all of the other great personalities here, which, and no doubt, we have been lucky to spear.

Stay loose, continue letting us hear from you,
and may your finesses work and suits split more than normal, unless, and of course, you have decided to sometimes get conservative.l