Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 12th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoAugust 26th, 2021 at 12:17 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps south should have made six as the cards lay. At T3 when spade A came tumbling down , south is certain of his contract. He should have ruffed remaining club in dummy, cashed diamond A , come to hand with heart A and lay down diamond K. If both follow , south can claim. Today west shows out. Now declarer reaches dummy with heart A, pitches both losing hearts on spades and claims as East’s trumps are couped. Interestingly, this play would have a chance even if west started with four carded diamond if he started with three clubs as then west would be 2=4=4=3 and when south payes last diamond west wins and provides entry to dummy in hearts and South’s heart losers go away on good spades. However, if west started with more than three clubs, south goes down
And perhaps east could have defeated the contract by ducking spade at T2. Now south can make the hand only Doubledummy but in all the probability, he would go down

And something good seems to be happening. It appears that so far, 15 out of 15 European teams have decided not to play against Italy with Fulvio Fantoni on the team as they feel that there is no place for cheats in a fair game.

A V Ramana RaoAugust 26th, 2021 at 12:39 pm

Sorry, somehow, I thought the contract is five diamonds. And considering that the hand cannot be made if west had diamond length, the way south played is perfect as there is always a chance that east could overruff third club. But as mentioned, ducking spade perhaps would have been better

Bobby WolffAugust 26th, 2021 at 1:54 pm


Even when you miss something, like today, your discussions lend themselves to worthwhile thought.

And speaking to winning tactics, when playing against less than so-called world class players, a very good declarer will (may) sense a disturbing bad break looming (in this case, trumps) and bank his spectacular play on that, what is to him or her, the more likely division.

In some ways, today’s hand is anti-percentage, but in reality it separates even the very good to those who are even better.

The beauty of bridge becomes even more magnified when the declarer (or sometimes a defender) believes his instincts which seems supernatural, but is only a combination of experience and, of course the proper technique which becomes necessary.

And, as far as cheating at bridge, you are, if anything, understating the horror of even attempting to defeat despicable off-the-charts bridge cheaters as to what happened to my team while representing the USA for four straight years (1972-75) when losing in the finals for the World Championship to them each time.

Yes, what is now happening in Europe (as we speak) is greatly inspired, if only the ending serves its incredibly valuable purpose.

Yes, the world is made up of many nationalities, representing many phases of different life styles, but, while competing against each other and then to seek monstrously horrible and 100% illegal cheating tactics, cannot be over emphasized.

Much too late for me, but not so to many worthy and more importantly, honest players and teams from all over the world who deserve much better.

TIME WILL TELL and the future of our otherwise sensational game is hanging in the balance.

Iain ClimieAugust 26th, 2021 at 2:11 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR, everyone,

I just found this:

I’m sure there are other sources. My late father’s nation (Scotland) were first to refuse to play them apparently. Whatever happened to “cheats never prosper”, assuming of course that this par did so? The probklem appears to be whether the evidence was sufficient and the appeal body thought not.


Bobby WolffAugust 26th, 2021 at 3:33 pm

Hi Iain,

Thanks for the update.

The bad news is that when I clicked to read it, while the article appeared, it was then immediately covered with an advertisement for something I do not remember. Then when it read, click here to read the initial article, I, of course did, but to no avail, the roadblock did not go away.

However, I get the drift, merely convincing me beyond belief, that our game bridge is totally misunderstood, and by thought to be intelligent law abiding citizens who obviously abrogate their responsibilities to their community to not even try to understand what they are not doing, nor care to fix it—-a combination which, for all practical purposes is totally lethal to our game.

For your information, my father, only brother, only niece, and only nephew were all lawyers and I qualified after 4 years at law school, but never took the bar exam.

Does not speak well for the conscience of that
profession, one which seems to be right up there with medical in desiring community respect.

Perhaps, as bridge lovers, we need to share that blame, but total ignorance in the subject to be judged should not IMHO, be tolerated.

Finally, perhaps the one entity similar to the above is simply POLITICS!

Iain ClimieAugust 26th, 2021 at 3:47 pm

Hi Bobby,

I have a brother who is a judge. I gleefully tell him that without human misery, misfortune and misbehaviour his side of the profession (there is a split in the UK between barristers & judges as opposed to solicitors) wouldn’t have much work to do.



A V Ramana RaoAugust 26th, 2021 at 4:08 pm

Hi lain
Perhaps even police personnel, private detectives and anyone in associated sectors too would be out of jobs though it is wishful thinking but if every human being behaves in a sensible and fair way and perhaps anyone interested in analysing criminal minds must definitely read Sherlock Holmes. I like it both for the brilliance of the contents and the flow of language

Bobby WolffAugust 26th, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Hi Iain,

And speaking of misery, misfortune and misbehavior (no u in your former colony’s word),

Eric Murray, a great Canadian bridge player, but an even greater solicitor in damage suits, bot paid only a stipend, perhaps $5,000 for his fee in a successful accident suit as opposed to now 50% of the amount collected, probably averaging around $300,000 to $500,000 in our capitalism country, which sums up what socialistic countries espouse.

Who is right? Might someone ask, with the answer being quite different when compared to plaintiffs and their lawyer(s).

Still Eric never would venture South to all that money, rather than leave his beloved.

Iain ClimieAugust 26th, 2021 at 4:25 pm


Thanskk for that and I still like The Hound of the Baskervilles (especially) even though I know the ending.


A V Ramana RaoAugust 26th, 2021 at 4:31 pm

Hi lain
I really lost count of just how many times I read ” The Hound of Baskerville” . Certainly not less than fifty times. ( You may consider me mad but I don’t mind)

Iain ClimieAugust 26th, 2021 at 4:57 pm


Not at all, it is that good.

Hi Jim2,

Thanks for that.


Bobby WolffAugust 26th, 2021 at 6:56 pm

Hi Iain & Jim2.

Thanks much for the article and for setting fire to the firewall.

The game of bridge is indebted to all those who not only are inconvenienced and appalled by known cheaters, but by all the icky things of searching out articles and above all, the absolutely horrible task of attempting to prove what is as obvious as yesterday’s newspaper.

The longer I live, the more stupid I get, but if even one player on my hefty cheater’s list is innocent, I ‘m the best looking guy in the bridge world.