Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, September 13th, 2021


Iain ClimieSeptember 27th, 2021 at 10:08 am

HI Bobby,

What did you think of West’s diamond lead on this hand? Anything could be right of course, but it does seem quite likely to carve up almost any holding his partner has in diamonds except perhaps Axxx(x). On (say) a heart lead, King, Ace and three rounds of clubs (or two clubs and another heart), South has no chance as the cards lie.

The 4-2 spade break means that if West aggresively tries the CA (which looks very dicey, and probably deserves to find declarer with CKx) and continues then South has no chance at all at least given that C are 4-4 or if the hand with the HA has 5 clubs. That CQx really is complete waste paper opposite 109x.



bobbywolffSeptember 27th, 2021 at 1:34 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt I agree with your denouncement of leading South’s strongly bid suit, though, as you also mentioned it could strike pay dirt if it found partner’s ace.

Opening leads are indeed the scourge of defense, and, at least to my way of thinking, and for many years, the best way of locating cheating, since very good players, no matter how experienced and wise, usually, if not always, achieve a much lower percentage of success than any other measurable ability recorded, deciding on one, who almost always succeed due to what I (and hope many others)) consider to be the immutable law of averages, implying luck rather than always skill, in so choosing.

One last thing to mention, although almost certainly not percentage on this hand, if West decided on a low heart might it entice an unknowing third seat defender to play low from dummy, hoping East will not have the jack and thus likely play the ace, therein allowing a make.

Certainly not percentage on this hand, but possibly worth consideration by declarer, that very bold venture, especially if done rather quickly.

Just another deceptive tactic for one’s quiver, when desperation, rather than convention, enters the room (declarer has AKx in another suit with the x the sure fourth loser in a major suit game contract).

Of course, I can already hear the conversation coming from West, “Yes I did pick an appropriate time to under lead my ace)”.

“Jim2”, while declaring, are you listening?

Robert LiptonSeptember 27th, 2021 at 4:47 pm

On the occasion when I underlead my ace usually out of desperation– usually out of desperation — partner doesn’t believe it, and invariably plays the wrong card — from my perspective — in third seat.


bobbywolffSeptember 27th, 2021 at 7:39 pm

Hi Bob,

Since a syllogism is usually defined as a suggestion based on two propositions, the important truth coming out of your post is that your partner is highly consistent.

Accepting the above will then allow you to discuss with him the necessity of having that trait come out positive rather than the opposite.

Either that or instead play “musical chairs” at the bridge table and always wind up having him on your right or left.

However, if that solution doesn’t work, ask him to change a well- followed bridge principle from “third hand high” to “third hand highest”!