Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, September 8th, 2021


Iain ClimieSeptember 22nd, 2021 at 9:09 am

Hi Bobby,

On BWTA I think there is a clear case for caution. If partner has some sort of spade fit, then one of the minor suit honours may not be worth much unless the fit is SJ(x) or similar. If partner has more outside spades, the KQ98xx may not be pulling their weight. The old adage that an opening bid opposite an opening bid should always play in game does have its exceptions.



Iain ClimieSeptember 22nd, 2021 at 10:06 am

As a quick follow-up, consider typical minimum openers of x AJxxxx Qxx Axx or x KJxxxx Axx Axx where opener will pass 3S and you’d rather you had passed 2H when you see dummy. There are of course numerous less gruesome hands e.g. J QJ10xxx Qxx AQx although that still has 4 top losers and 3N will probably go off on a diamond lead. How worried should the 3S bidder be about concealing what could be reasonable heart support here?


bobbywolffSeptember 22nd, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Hi Iain,

Your post says it very well, at least about the sheer luck needed to make either game in a major suit, a decent favorable percentage.

While trying to go even deeper, one may also involve 3NT as an alternate choice, one which may also resonate if the opener held: s. Ax, h. J109xxx, d. Q10x, c. AJ or even s. s. Ax, h. QJ9xxx.
d. Ax, c. Q10x, mix matching many combinations of minor suit holdings compatible with a likely make.

No doubt the key ingredients in success become the jack of spades, a card I conveniently left out with my examples which by holding (except perhaps if being a sad singleton), but even then likely a key factor in a possible game to be scored.

The type of hand necessary for success in a likely game contract (including both majors and 3NT) is relatively random, but what else is new, since Lady Luck, (nicknamed Fickle) is always in control and is not available for being bribed. After all, she deals the hands and doesn’t get rewarded for her efforts, so what can we poor mortals expect?

However, when faced with a close choice between bidding game or letting it go, I can truthfully explain, that, at least to what I think, close to 100% of the world’s best players take the aggressive view.