Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, August 16th, 2021


bobbywolffAugust 30th, 2021 at 3:11 pm

Hi Everyone,

No doubt a sensational false card (at trick one) by the declarer, and winner of any and all awards to be offered, but realistically something seems suspicious or half-baked.

That is, yes some great bridge players, even those who are just learning bridge but are young, with lightening quick minds, who see problems quickly, but in order for what happened here, the declarer needs to realize how key that 9 of hearts is in dummy (suggests to his RHO that a low heart back, instead of the jack, becomes necessary for him to reek critical advantage of what is the apparent KQ doubleton. Also with the specific, 6 and 3, the other hearts present and accounted for, declarer’s card has to be below the value of the opening leader’s one, otherwise that incredible play at trick one can only cost a trick, not win the day.

Therefore, yes there are some declarers who tell the table that he, as declarer, will take time at trick one to plan out the entire play “so please do not take inference from any slow play I might make”.

In truth, very few declarers do that, but yes I have now seen the exception and “WOW, this is certainly the hand for it” (if you will excuse the expression “in hearts”, not in “spades”).

However, none of us will ever know for sure, if this declarer said such a thing, but to just casually follow with the king or the queen is, IMHO above anyone’s pay grade, young, old, great, lucky or just happen to have the queen fall on the table.

However, I, if that youngster actually did what he is credited with doing, will forever bow down to his fast wit, which wins all awards, bridge, or
any other Olympics record ever recorded. Next will be someone claiming a 3 minute mile.

That is, if he did suggest that he will take time at trick one to follow suit, “so please, take no inferences from my slow play”. And even if he did, and everything then will appear both ethical and thus kosher, it will stand out as nothing short of magnificent.

Yes, if you like, you can call me paranoid!

Iain ClimieAugust 30th, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Hi Bobby,

Should West have led a heart though? East hasn’t bid 2H, supported spades (directly or via a support double) and hasn’t doubled 3S so a spade lead is pointless. A heart could be right (but see above), a diamond won’t be so that leaves clubs with the desired effect. Still a superb effort by declarer though.



bobbywolffAugust 30th, 2021 at 3:54 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt, whether a heart lead or not, a legitimate debate. If West would hold 5 clubs, instead of 4, at least to me, it would be clear cut to lead them, but as it is, and for your intelligence on it, possibly with only 4, a decent choice.

However, and continuing on both your and my discussion, why didn’t East raise to 2 spades in competition (or a support dbl, if playing them) likely then getting a spade lead, although by so doing, perhaps the bidding would be different although the likely final contract, the same?

No one can take anything away from declarer’s unbrideled brilliance, but………