Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, August 30th, 2021


Iain ClimieSeptember 13th, 2021 at 10:15 am

Hi Bobby,

North should (given the South hand) have just bid 3N of course. Mind you, South will then have HAQ10xxx, little outside and the suit will be 4-1 offside although then 4H would struggle too.

I tried posting earlier but it vanished – curious.



jim2September 13th, 2021 at 11:51 am

Iain Climie –

Nah, you would be fine because the hands would not change.

Now if were ME sitting North …

My non-partner bridge friends say I need to play more bridge because all the bad luck has to go SOMEwhere and, if I play less, more of it ends up with them.

As for my partners, they are … let us say … ambivalent on the matter.


A V Ramana RaoSeptember 13th, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps east gave away the contract. The spade J return : if east paused for reflection, he would have realised that it would achieve nothing as west is marked with a virtual Yarborough hand as east is seeing fifteen points in his hand and sixteen in dummy. Simple passive defense of returning a diamond and winning first or second trump and returning another trump would have been adequate. Now, when south cashes K of spades, east has to play J but even then south cannot be sure of the position of Q of spades. East might as well have it doubleton and south might play for drop but by returning spade J, east made the location of Q explicit. Had east defended otherwise, most probably south would lose two club tricks and the contract

Iain ClimieSeptember 13th, 2021 at 1:15 pm


Another point is that South might have SQx, Q9(x) as well as what he holds and what does the SJ achieve then?

Hi Jim2,

I must admit I thought of you as I posted the earlier comment!



jim2September 13th, 2021 at 2:42 pm

TOCM ™ !!

Preach it!

bobbywolffSeptember 13th, 2021 at 6:22 pm

Hi Iain, Jim2 & AVRR,

You three have completely covered the subject, allowing me to get over being without computer resource, but confident the column was in appropriate hands.

Finally intended specific for Jim2, there are rumors that TOCM is being used for “taking over Covid management”, and, if so, perhaps the good news would be that more of us will consent to being vaccinated.

If so, your name should appear next to Madame Curie with help for mankind, not to mention womankind.

jim2September 13th, 2021 at 11:51 pm

Never would I ever dream of holding a microscopic candle to the incomparable Madame Curie!

For those not greatly familiar with Madame Curie, not only did she win the Noble Prize in a science, but she is the only person ever to receive the Noble Prize in TWO sciences. And, oh btw, her daughter was awarded one also, mostly for her work in studying/working with a radioactive element her mother discovered.

However, possibly her greatest achievement was pioneering mobile x-ray ambulances that could travel right to the Front in WWI and allowed surgeons to SEE where bullets and shrapnel were in their wounded soldier patients. She did this initially with her own money, mainly the Nobel Prize money. She tried to sell the gold medals themselves, but the French National Bank was scandalized at the notion and refused to buy them. She was also desperate for personnel, and so enlisted her then-18 year old daughter to help her.

The ambulances were wildly successful and became know as Petite Curies. French authorities soon came around and supported her efforts, and then her one or few ambulances became a fleet, and France formed an entire Red Cross division to support them (and made her the head of it).

Historians have reviewed the effects of her efforts and have calculated that her personal efforts saved over ONE MILLION lives in WWI.

jim2September 14th, 2021 at 2:08 am

More on M Curie:

She invented entire the idea of using radiation to locally sterilize infected tissue of wounded from WWI battles.

Her invention was to use hollow glass needles filled with radon gas. Initially, the authorities protested the idea as impractical because the only way to get radon gas was via the natural decay of radium and no one had that. She said something like, “Oh, dear, I forgot to mention that I posses my own stock of radium …”

She used it, and it worked.

bobbywolffSeptember 15th, 2021 at 6:09 pm

Hi Jim2,

Knowing you, I, then become convinced, that this marvelous Madam belonged at the near top, or bluntly at the pinnacle, of all her revered others, who have served this humble world in an infinite manner..

And to think, when I was very young, yes, once upon a time I was, my first extraordinary hope was to achieve the rank of Life Master, a goal
I was proud to explain, I eventually achieved, but not without, more than occasionally, striking out often, and, on only three pitches.