Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, September 4th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoSeptember 18th, 2021 at 11:07 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
While Cohen played very well to land the contract, it is difficult to understand East’s double of three hearts . He doesn’t know anything about partner’s strength and he himself doesn’t have much. Just swap red queens between west and south, south makes three hearts redoubled perhaps with an OT even with bad breaks and gets almost slam score while any slam would be doubtful. And the irony is , without East’s double probably NS would have landed in an unmakable slam
Grateful if you can throw some light on the rationale of double by east

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 18th, 2021 at 11:15 am

And I read that you graduated from Trinity University, San Antonio Texas. Little curious

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 18th, 2021 at 12:26 pm

Dear all
I learnt that our host graduated from the University of Texas and got a bit curious and referred the university’s wiki page. Under the Notable people, I expected to find our host’s name but was surprised ( rather shocked and disappointed) to note it is not there.As I felt it is a great injustice, I took the liberty of editing the page( yes, there is provision for that) incorporating our host’s name and his accomplishments. However, though the matter is included, a tiny error appears to be there which I am not able to fix. I sent mail to wiki help for resolving the issue. And if any of you can visit the page and fix the error , nothing like that and also please don’t forget to post the feedback. Our delightful host deserves the best

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 18th, 2021 at 12:30 pm

And in the list please see under ” Other” category in notable people

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 18th, 2021 at 2:07 pm

The error got fixed. Wiki help acted rather immediately. I got acknowledgement. Great job. Hats off Wiki help. Now, you can see our host’s name in the list of notable persons in other category

bobbywolffSeptember 18th, 2021 at 3:21 pm


No doubt I feel honored to be included by you in five straight posts, all good, except perhaps that unnecessary level in bridge (excluding minor suits) in bridge bidding.

During my daredevil younger years I went two years to the University of Texas in Austin, but then came back home with intent to get a law degree and join my father and brother in their law practice but before that completed my education by getting a business administration degree three blocks from my parent’s house, (at Trinity University) in San Antonio, Texas.

However after then but before Trinity, I spent four years of my life going to law school, I was then getting more than hooked with bridge and rather than join my family, I took off on what we have all learned to love, bridge and all of its temptations.

If practicing law was all spent in courtrooms, I may have succumbed to trying it, but all those leases, wills, pleas, and other documents as well as giving sound advice, which needed to be routinely written and spoken correctly, was just too daunting and uninspiring for me to venture forth.

Enter bridge and although the beginning was full of what ifs, none to little money and often, disappointing, especially while living far away from the power brokers in the bridge world, and even worse, because definitely not my father’s choice, nevertheless I was totally hooked and unwilling to let go.

So here we are, you, I and a select group of incredibly worthwhile, supremely ethical and intelligent characters sharing our time, while discussing my favorite subject and hopefully yours and theirs.

Finally, not on my life, (some 65+ years later) am I sorry for that choice, although most would likely be right to bet that by doing so, would not, in most cases, be the percentage play.

Much thanks for your personal interest, giving personality, and, of course, doing such an incredibly bang-up and consistent job of analysis.

bobbywolffSeptember 19th, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Hi again AVRR,

Apologies for spending time giving you my life’s history without answering your sole bridge question about why East’s lead suggestion double of 3 hearts.

While obviously I do not know for sure, sometimes when high level opponents (also perhaps against lesser experienced) begin conducting a long auction with different suits bid, it is tempting for a defender to get his two cents in with a double of the suit he thought would be best, often because if he did not, partner may not then lead it, claiming he had the chance to help but chose not to. However sometimes looming redoubles with large positive numbers against the doubling side,

To do so is a mixed bag, since if the opening leader had a sequence or else a good reason (in his mind) for a better lead, the double might result (probably as it did in this case) to be good for his opponents, even without it being a redouble and make.

Nothing very unusual, but possibly helpful, denoting a preference (at least a major honor),
but the degree of like by the doubler is sadly impossible to convey, making a close choice, sometimes even more subtle than it appears.

However, it is also possible that once in a while the reporting of some hands is a bit changed in order for the play denoted (including the choice of opening lead) to be better understood.

IOW, I have no idea, except in the report this is the way we were told the bidding went.

The question of whether or not I agree is difficult for me to answer, only that it probably should be discussed by all ambitious partnerships, although to do so, would not absolve them from sometimes making critical mistakes to the degree they would prefer.
Yes, and of course, the manner of so doing could be ethically challenged by others, if, in fact, it would quickly or not so, be done.

However, that would be rare, as most top players are always aware of keeping their reputations as clean as possible

Sorry for my ambivalence as well as not immediately responding.