Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 10th, 2021


Iain ClimieAugust 24th, 2021 at 5:03 pm

Hi Bobby,

On BWTA, if partner gripes about the lack of a 4th heart, you can always move a club into the suit as dummy and apologise for mis-sorting. Needs a part with a sense of humour though. I once “took a view” and passed a GF sequence but was told to get new glasses as 2S+3 didn’t score well.

Fascinating play possibilities on the main hand though.



Bobby WolffAugust 24th, 2021 at 5:23 pm

Hi Iain,

In the somewhat make-believe bridge column business, it is common practice to deal in extremes IOW, instead of the usual 4 card other major, before choosing a TO double, it is not AKx or KQ10, but rather xxx.

To my view, I am not the least bit taken back with only xxx since all other features agree, particularly a singleton in the opponents known suit.

To await perfect or even near, is to fail to realize that the cards are not prone to, if you will excuse the expression, follow suit.

IOW, I highly recommend in choosing the best bid available, and it is often the choice of double, if for no other reason, it offers the widest choice of possible “best final contracts”.

Thanks for using the word fascinating in describing 10x opposite AQJx when a winning finesse is followed with low to the ace, grabbing his majesty, as all in a day’s work, eg. writing a bridge column, with some readers probably thinking it was being played at the local asylum for bridge playing dropouts.

A V Ramana RaoAugust 24th, 2021 at 6:30 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Regarding last para: even if east happens to win third club with Q, he can play A of hearts and when west encourages, lead J of hearts which south will not cover and now, east must be judicious to return a diamond into the jaws of death ( west covering South’s card) for taking the contract down. If he returns spade, south makes the contract.
Clearly, if east held both protected diamond K and club Q, the hand cannot be made. So south hopes that east doesn’t hold both cards plays accordingly but superior defense prevails and perhaps any east defending this deserves brilliancy prize

Bobby WolffAugust 25th, 2021 at 2:10 pm


As usual, very well described by you. covering all the bases and thus allowing high level learners
access to what many might think, “bridge magic”.

Such a defensive accolade demands: (1) listening closely to the bidding, (2) after the opening lead, assessing logical, but approximate 26 card (unseen hands) overall holdings (with specific small cards not relevant), which will lead to the goal of a set, and then (often, but certainly not always, with appropriate help from partner), embark on that plan.

When playing matchpoints instead of IMPs or rubber, that above plan more often than most may realize, since a small feature of the defense may result instead to a significant overtrick or overtricks, so valuable in that game, while not so in what I like to think is real bridge instead of having to flat out guess, in what should not have to be “twin” goals.

In other words, matchpoints can just be too great a chore, therefore that sheer luck present, is taking away from what our marvelous game was designed to include.

Obviosly bridge columnists and book authors feature hands which allow those forms of world class decisions, but while playing in any tournament scored by matchpoints, often becomes, in my harsh terms, of being at least somewhat, bastardized.

In today’s hand that condition could be present, if in fact, declarer had the queen instead of the jack of clubs and perhaps declarer could then have “set up” East to fail.

However, then, but for only a crucial overtrick instead of contract, might have been the stakes, so very important in the, at least to me, lesser game, if only accurately described by other players, as “impossible to differentiate”.