Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, July 4th, 2021


Iain ClimieJuly 19th, 2021 at 9:59 am

Hi Bobby,

Any case for redouble on Losing Options’ hand? The opponents clearly have at least game and possibly slam but this may convince the doubler (should his partner bid 5 of a suit) that you are sitting there with values and short spades, so he’ll be expecting you to have some of the cards his partner holds. If the next hand passes, things may work out even better of course.

The worst case sceanrio is going 2-off (1-off seems rather more likely) when the oppo can’t make a slam as we have 2 cashing Aces or perhaps the HA and a ruff.



Bobby WolffJuly 19th, 2021 at 1:50 pm

Hi Iain,

Redouble would rank as my last option and although I am nowhere near certain how many tricks partner may take (probably between nine and eleven with the lower of those the morning line favorite). However I am not this time or ever going to say that redouble may or may not work, but only to say, that it would not appeal to me.

Of course, only IMO, but we will have the default option (rather than if our suit was hearts, not spades) with our LHO deciding to pass, since an eleven trick contract may look particularly daunting to him and thus passing and hoping for a set may occur (again IMO) is better than 50-50 where if our suit was instead hearts (and I possessed a doubleton spade or even three) then 4 spades by him or her jumps up the chart to perhaps as high as an even chance (50%) with the option of merely passing by him falling to perhaps about 35%+.

However, bridge being the game it is, prepare for everything that may happen, but certainly pass for now and hope for LHO to decide to pass, but at the same time, “do not count your hatches before they are chickened”, simply because “it is not over till its over” together with the playing of bridge (even among spectacularly efficient players) is hugely unpredictable (not because of them, but rather Dame Fortune, the slightly crazy but daunting lady, who deals).

But for now, to do anything but pass in tempo, borders on the absurd, at least to me.

Bobby WolffJuly 19th, 2021 at 6:11 pm

Hi Everyone,

Why Monday is not up, is indeed a total sad
mystery to me and, of course long for procedures
to ASAP return to what everyone will think normal.

Iain ClimieJuly 19th, 2021 at 8:16 pm

Hi Bobby,

No worries and hang in there. Going back to my slightly deranged (semi)-bluff redouble though, if the next hand passes clearly the 4S bidder will do so too, what should the doubnler of 4S take from their partner’s silence? Does it show a willingness to defend, no strong preference about strain (so leaviing it back to the doubler), a moderate hand (presumably a good one might punt slam) or what? This is less a case of “silence is golden” and more spreading doubt about what is happening. I have to admit I used a (partly) bluff redouble of a dodgy 6D once (it should go one off, but the defence might have erred) to panic the opponents into a save of 6H at favourable which went for a very large number indeed. Declarer jovially chided me for my greed (“I don’t know why you didn’t just take the huge plus, Iain, it’s not like you to turn down a gift horse….) and then dummy went down with an awful lot more high cards than he expected. -1100 I think, although declarer blew a trick in the play and unchivalrously shouted at his wife even though she is a slightly better player. Still, no firearms were residing in a nearby drawer, so Myrtle Bennett 2 was avoided.


Bobby WolffJuly 19th, 2021 at 10:28 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt, especially if asked, what should be the meaning of pass from the next opponent after the redouble, the answer would be some authoritative malarkey, signifying not much.

However the odds are strong that the partnership asked had never discussed it, but it should show no long suit and at least a defensive hand worth the gamble (whatever my malarkey also means, but hopefully, at least one likely defensive trick).

Yes Virginia, there are plenty of psychological episodes present at every level of bridge and, if anything, more at the top, where the high quality of play is about even.

Also be unpredictable against opponents, while very straight forward with partner is the idea, but please do not ask me exactly what that means, since I would have to think up something which rings true.

Also, your various experiences through the years seems to cover almost everything there is, possibly encouraging you to write an Iain
bridge autobiography, but, no doubt your victims will threaten you not to publish it.

In any event, any foursome which included you
would never suffer from boredom, although your opponents would likely leave most times with a lesser weighted wallet.

Iain ClimieJuly 20th, 2021 at 7:55 am

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for the kind comments. The closest I’d get to a bridge autobiography (bearing in mind there is a 25 year gap in the middle!) would probably be a set of “hands of the week” I wrote for Hitchin Bridge Club’s website ( which I pulled together into a couple of Word files. They vary from basic to more sophisticated hands but anyone wanting copies is welcome to E-Mail me at if you can cope with my heavy handed attempts at humour and style. They’re not a patch on this column but may still amuse or entertain.