Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, July 11th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJuly 24th, 2021 at 9:33 am

Hi Dear Mr.Wolff
Looks like Sunday’s column has arrived rather early and
all this week’s columns were extremely interesting with declarer playing in Moysian fit and resorting to whatever strategic means for retaining trump control and prevailing. However, sadly, with modern bidding methods, it appears that the Romance of the Moysian fit has become a thing of the past and perhaps as extinct as Dodo as nowadays people just do not relish opening four card majors at all. But the connoisseur certainly enjoys the play with Moysian fit for art’s sake

Bobby WolffJuly 24th, 2021 at 11:10 am


After noticing what you are saying, it is undoubtedly true that people have latched on to 5 card majors. Why? At least to me it comes as no surprise, since the relaxed feeling of safety in numbers, makes bridge an easier game to play, expecially so since there even slightly better than average players on down feel more secure with that caveat.

Four card majors have many advantages, 1. occur significantly more frequently and even with fairly strict strictures about the four card quality necessary. 2. arrive at normal contracts in a much faster manner, depriving their opponents of being able to come into the bidding at an early stage as frequently. 3. often get lead direction with one’s first bid, rather than open a three card minor or even four in preference to a stronger major suit holding, but fewer than 5 cards. 4. a slightly greater advantage, by starting at a higher plateau at the one level, preventing some 1 diamond and 1 heart overcalls which allow them percentage end results both for competitive purposes, lead direction and mostly for allowing them to compete after finding trump fits early and fly from there.

Of course, the only real disadvantage is more often having to play 4-3 major suit fits, but in reality as pointed out by many top players (started by Sonny Moyse, back 70 to 80 years ago) the 4-3 fit is not as dangerous as some think and especially so since the defenders may not know that declarer started with only 4.

However, even all those reasons, with other positive psychological ones added, will not dissuade what many players (all sorts of quality levels) from breaking what now has become tradition and, at least to them, mandatory to conform.

I played them for years with great players as my partner and even after all this time, would
swear by their results, for all the above reasons, as easily the better choice and not for just art’s sake, but for overall results, including going head to head, against the best players in the world.

Bobby WolffJuly 24th, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Hi again AVRR,

In my above zeal I forgot to mention, What happened to Saturday? Guess with the Olympics starting in Tokyo it got lost in the week or more likely in the weak!

Oh well, when bridge is involved all of us sometimes lose our concentration, but hopefully it will show up soon.