Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 24th, 2021


Iain ClimieSeptember 7th, 2021 at 9:13 am

Hi Bobby,

Fascinating mmachinations in the play on today’s main column hand and quite counter-intuitive, ruffing repeatedly in hand.

Any case for 2C (if not game forcing) on the BWTA hand to savce space? If partner raises, put him back to D, if he can bid 2H then 2S may help find NT if he has a part spade stop e.g. Qx or even singleton K, a 2D rebid can be raised to 3D. None of this works if 2C is GF to be fair when the 2S option looks best although a rather bent double maybe still has some merit; how bad do you think it was?



bobbywolffSeptember 7th, 2021 at 10:05 am

Hi Iain,

While the BWTA speaks for itself, at least to me (no doubt, old fashioned, the negative double is closest to what I actually have, which is almost perfect for values (short of an opening bid, good sound cards, but, of course, one short in what may be considered its most important feature, 4 cards in the other major).

However, sometimes holding both the Ace and King may make up for the absence of the key fourth card. In this case, while partner’s jump to the heart game is 100% the proper rebid, that game still offers the better chance for success.

However, if South traded either of his minor suit queens for the singleton jack of spades, in spite of his hand being generally and convinsingly downgraded in value, he would then be very likely to score up 3NT, though still opting to rebid the heart game instead.

However, bridge bidding is never thought to be anywhere near a perfect science, only a handy weapon, especially in the hands of players who have been there, done that.

The above paragraph should be somewhat of an oath taken by a practical partnership to understand the futility of trying to always reach the right contract (many sometimes reach it, but then plow through it to a more difficult one).

IOW, bridge like life and even at high levels should have as its creed, laugh and cry with partner, since lady luck, not always sheer clairvoyance, oft times, will determine fortune.

Regarding your suggested 2 club bid to start with would not be recommended by me, unless we might be playing with illuminated cards, to which partner can see. Not enough strength, nor anywhere near good enough, nor long enough, clubs.

“Aside from that Mrs. Lincoln what did you think of the play”. No doubt to me, a negative double represents the closest choice to correct, though Dame Fortune, as she always does, rules, and sadly she often has less than she might, but this fact helps to separate the good players from one another with you know who, making more correct decisions than their counterpart.

Thanks for engaging in discussion with this common and often occurring subject.

Iain ClimieSeptember 7th, 2021 at 12:06 pm

HI Bobby,

Thanks for that and perhaps a little bit too over-imaginative on my part despite being ble to go back to D if partner takes clubs seriouslly and thinks CKxx(x) is gold dust. I have had the odd success with the approach thogh e.g. playing 4 card majors, I recall openign 1D on a 14 count 4-1-5-3 shape and bidding 2C over partner’s 1N reply on the basis that we’ve got a minor suit fit and are wide open in H. Partner happily gave prefence to D with a 3343 7 count but even if he’d passed wth (say) 3-3-3-4 I’d have happily taken heart ruffs in the short hand and also relied on the opponents miscounting the hand.



bobbywolffSeptember 7th, 2021 at 2:41 pm

Hi Iain,

Whether, on any one hand or not, it works or not, your feel is right on.

The ability to merely be on track, is more than half the battle and will, no doubt, serve your judgment and all who have it, in fine style.

Many people gravitate toward the game, for many reasons, love of the logic, like and thoughtful friends coaxing, the hobby to explore, as well as purely social, meeting the right people, only game in town, etc.

Obviously the first three, rather than the last
will produce the ones who truly belong, lasting and always improving with the experience gleaned through thick and thin, rather than being over matched, difficulty with progressive learning, and sometimes understanding, other times not, leading no where and thus causing distress.

My overall take on our enterprise, mirrors life’s logic, provides necessary competitive instincts to smartly progress, and above all teaches excellent ethics through its rules, and provides what the brain allows, correct solutions to life’s problems, not only in understanding partner, but by “feeling” what good opposition is trying to do, sometimes tricking or throwing up false leads, in order to defeat you.

What better place to take out the competitive instincts we are all born with than the bridge table, and the completely healthy and necessary rejoinders we gladly learn in which to counter, all with the fervent desire to be successful.

Of course, all the above is usually present when we delve deeply into our superior competition, and just how much time one spends on it, is a “just” indicator of what the game returns to that player.