Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, August 28th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoSeptember 11th, 2021 at 11:00 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps declarer made an error when he led to diamond for leading club. He could have unblocked the remaining high diamond in dummy before leading club. Assuming the play proceeds as mentioned, when east leads heart J, it would be easy for south to discard club as if east has A and west has third club, the hand can never be made as defense takes five tricks before declarer takes nine. But even then , he should proceed with caution. When winning heart A, if he advances ten of spades, east will cover K and there is no ninth trick. He should lead low card. It is clear that east holds a spade honor else west would have started with spade K as opening lead. But if east cashes club A after winning J, he should return K of spade else south can win A, cash remaining diamonds. At least now , east should see the writing on the wall and get rid of K of spade on one of the diamonds otherwise it is over for defense as east is thrown in with that card and declarer wins nine tricks by force as east has to provide stepping stone to dummy’s winners. But if east returns K of spade after cashing A of clubs , south has to resign himself to eight tricks as the winners in dummy are stranded for ever.

bobbywolffSeptember 11th, 2021 at 12:49 pm


Yes, thanks for your always valuable analysis, especially with close hands where card spots, (here defensive club intermediates) heavily favored the defense.

The declarer, Jacek Kalita from Poland and although relatively young, has developed into one of the top players in the world and IMO will stay there for a long time, but here simply became very unlucky with the overall club layout.

Also, their well oiled partnership, here their meaning of redouble, is worth noting since with the sophisticated handling of competitive bidding becoming necessary, his best partnerships have worked hard to determine special intelligent meanings to otherwise just generally former but less specific definitions.

Yes, the future of our great game needs to be in the hands of young players like Jacek, whose respect for the game itself is markedly evident, and, at least to me, is definitely in the right hands and needs more and more players, not necessarily as talented, but with the same moral compass, to lead our game in the fairest possible way.

As always, also a tribute to AVRR for using his active and very keen bridge mind to take on all difficult hands and allow our readers, especially ones with high ambitions, to glean sophisticated knowledge, which I can verify simply, does not grow in trees.