Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, August 9th, 2021


David WarheitAugust 23rd, 2021 at 10:12 am

Although the logic as you discuss is unlikely to occur to declarer, he should play a small H from dummy at trick 1, thus depriving E of the opportunity to signal to his partner. I suppose it is still possible from West’s point of view that declarer has the H10, but it seems that something is gained by playing low.

Iain ClimieAugust 23rd, 2021 at 11:17 am

Hi David,

My only worry with that suggestion is that a very bad or fairly cunning West has underled the HA at T1, hoping to cause confusion or trigger a heart mis-guess. Difficult to live down if that happens; just as long as partner doesn’t come up with a helpful comment or question about why you didn’t play the King…



A V Ramana RaoAugust 23rd, 2021 at 11:51 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps there should be some mechanism for EW to compete in hearts on this hand. Instead of walking the tightrope defending two spades, they would be more comfortable playing three hearts. I think, considering vulnerability, west can double one spade by south. Your view please

Bobby WolffAugust 23rd, 2021 at 1:27 pm

Hi David,

Yes, we had to somewhat contrive reasons in order to get the main expert reason for making the right playing decisions.

This feeble part score will not excite any of our readers, but perhaps the EW discarding and signalling makes it worthwhile.

And against this type of bidding it is not at all inconceivable for the opening leader to underlead an ace, although matchpoints does dictate that losing a natural trick is an excellent way to guarantee a very poor result (not true in this case).

Bobby WolffAugust 23rd, 2021 at 1:38 pm

Hi Iain,

While trying to hate your OX (not so loving name that is often reference to one’s bridge partner), it is generally agreed by many, that doing so, is not healthy for good bridge results, it does often help in the post-mortem for the Wolff transfer of assessing blame. However, emotional treats wear very thin compared to better results.

Bobby WolffAugust 23rd, 2021 at 1:55 pm


And speaking of the bidding, I think with an opening club lead by NS, EW can even manage a heart game, bid and made if he plays the game to best advantage.

Why North, being sub minimum for his opening bid rebid instead of passing one spade by his partner will always be a mystery, but his then result of 2 spades, bid and made, become music to the bridge ears.

All in a session’s work and not surprising, although being on the right, instead of wrong, side of those results, does cheer the mood.

Perhaps West would have TO doubled 1 spade, if North had chosen to open 1 diamond rather than 1 club, seemingly a wrong decision (in case partner winded up on opening lead) but the bridge gods (and North) chose differently.

Sometimes in life, as well as bridge, momentous things happen for the tiniest of reasons.