Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, July 22nd, 2021


Iain ClimieAugust 5th, 2021 at 1:43 pm

Hi Bobby,

Your proposed winning line will probably also work if East has SKx(x) when East would do very well to duck when a spade comes off table. If East held Kx alone and ducked, then he should get the brilliancy prize, always assuming that West exited with a spade not a club after taking the 10.



bobbywolffAugust 5th, 2021 at 2:10 pm

Hi Iain,

We already know what a great game we attempt to play well, and with it, there are usually additional factors to which you refer above.

Yes, a battle of wits, especially when two competitors each start with a full one instead of only half, but also do not even underrate them.

Proving that, we then add the Mrs. Guggenheims of the world who sometimes (but thankfully not often), during the course of their bridge invasion, sometimes fall heir to tricks which others wouldn’t score up, but provide grand fodder for bridge humorists.

To such a full sea do we seek, and we should take the current when it serves, or risk losing our fortunes (probably made up usually of good play, but sometimes with occasional foolishness).

TedAugust 5th, 2021 at 8:06 pm

Hi Bobby,

Was watching a Vugraph match today and saw both declarers go down in a hand I would have made and not really thought there was an issue. Presumably I’m missing something.

S deals both NV

AKQ9 1074 KJ1054 5

J873 9 AQ632 K43

P P 1D 1H
Dbl 2NT* 3S P *4H invitational
4S all pass

Lead D7

After the Diamond lead, both drew one round of trump then lead a Heart, lost the Diamond ruff and a Club and ruffed the Club continuation. They could no longer unscramble the hand when the Diamond ruff had occurred in the hand with 2 trump. Why would it be wrong to draw a second round of trumps (and then a third once you see they are breaking 3-2)?


bobbywolffAugust 5th, 2021 at 8:28 pm

Hi Ted,

You are right and its pretty easy to understand.

Most players,high IQs or not, are not as proficient in arithmetic as they should be and thus inclined to make the type of error you have presented.

Two rounds of trump should be played showing a 3-2 break, thus allowing declarer to lead a club toward the king, but not before the opponent’s fangs, except for the one outstanding trump, have been eliminated.

In all hands after the two rounds of trump have been taken, will the contract be made, but in some cases an overtrick will occur (such as the diamond singleton hand only starting with 2 trump or the ace of clubs being in the hand in front of the king. IOW, a question of +420 or +450 depending on the opponent’s distributions and, of course the defense against it.

Yes, smart people can be the culprits in bridge since their experience has not yet become established where the very essence of the game is present.

Nothing unusual, but yes, surprising to you and others like you, since my guess is that you like (love) the game enough to basically follow through with keen analysis instead of superficial thoughts.

bobbywolffAugust 5th, 2021 at 9:10 pm

Hi again Ted,

My description is also careless, not for insuring the contract, but for my not cashing all three rounds of trump (after both followed to two rounds) since for overtrick possibilities it makes it impossible to not make the contract (unless you hate yourself) and simply put after the three rounds of trump are cashed, leading a club up to the king, and with the ace onside you will make five and if not, only four.

TedAugust 5th, 2021 at 11:21 pm

Thanks, Bobby.

I’m still taken aback that two world class/borderline world class declarers would misplay a hand the same way without any unusual defensive maneuvers. Thought I must have missed something.

bobbywolffAugust 6th, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Hi Ted,

Methinks descriptions like expert and especially “world class” players are not only exaggerated, but downright stupid to be freely “kicked around” among too many (not referring to your mention, since you, also, are wondering).

It is probably caused by the world today, used to get attention, rather than to rationally face the facts. IOW, “world class” to me should be able to play with and against the greatest (guess, top 100 players worldwide) and hold one’s own.

Your post becomes important in trying to understand what is happening today in not only bridge playing, but in so many other like

Thanks for your interest and especially your concern.