Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, September 11th, 2021


Jeff SSeptember 25th, 2021 at 2:14 pm

I love this hand. It feels like a situation you see so often. You get to 3NT one way or another, dummy comes down and you see the short spades, the duplication in hearts – all those wasted values! – the problematic diamonds and the ragged clubs and think “This is not going to end well”.

Sure, if East turns up with the AC, it spoils the party, but I love that it holds true even if you play to the J. One of the hardest concepts for me is which card to lead to with that KJ9xx (or similar) configuration, it nearly always feels like a blind guess or, at best, based on inferences from the bidding or play. To see a hand where it is absolutely correct to play to the K and very nearly hopeless to play to any other card makes this hand a joy.

bobbywolffSeptember 25th, 2021 at 2:57 pm

Hi Jeff S,

First, to let you know my appreciation for your ultra positive attitude to many various features of our extremely challenging game.

Players like you bring joy to the game for all you touch, especially your partners and believe it or not, even your opponents as well, of course, because of your apparent built-in enthusiasm.

Playing bridge is an excellent way of learning life’s logic in problem solving, such as today’s hand.

First, the consistency requirement featured with the bidding, then the overall strategy necessary with good declarer’s play and partnership defense and finally the means to the end of giving extra effort to succeed, whether on offense or defense.

Add to that the ethics requirements, sometimes, at various times, a bit different for each player, but totally necessary to make it as fair a contest as possible.

Together, what I, as completely addicted and for more years than anyone would want to count, but never for one moment being sorry for becoming involved.

Today’s hand is a new and not often encountered declarer problem, where, in isolation the king not the jack (or sometimes even the nine) becomes the clear first play of choice, for valid reasons to which a veteran bridge problem solver can be sure.

Your attitude toward the game is to be cherished, so never change, just enjoy and continue believing and better you will become, as what is learned today, will serve as an offshoot to which it will apply in other forms when the timing necessary becomes critical.