Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, October 6th, 2021


Iain ClimieOctober 20th, 2021 at 9:51 am

Hi Bobby,

The plausible line you mention (of playing a small spade round to the K) gives East the chance of a good false card – the 8 from K87 or even K8x. It can hardly cost, after all. I take the point that the last line you suggest is better, especially s West, having short clubs, is that much less likely to have only 3D.



A V Ramana RaoOctober 20th, 2021 at 10:56 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps south floored a cold contract. The club nine obviously is at most a doubleton. South has six top tricks in side suits. So simple elopement would work which would make sure of four trump tricks which includes two ruffs and defense just cannot do anything. So, win the lead, diamond K and lead club . Even if west is singleton, he cannot ruff profitably but today he follows. Dummy wins, south pitches heart on diamond A( not club) , ruffs a diamond, heart K and A and south can take call on which red suit to ruff. Today it doesn’t matter and south scores ten tricks. Leading spade from dummy at T2 simply doesn’t make sense

bobbywolffOctober 20th, 2021 at 2:14 pm

Hi Iain & AVRR,

Since both of you have commented positively about today’s hand with your view, dangers, and likely best lines of play, I’ll keep my opinion concentrated on both of your suggestions.

While top players take pains to apply false cards (such as the eight of spades on declarer’s first lead of trump from the dummy) lesser experienced ones do not, since hands do arise wherein the eight of spades can be more valuable to save, than the three or the four and so, without any due consideration, just follow suit methodically.

Also, it is far from unheard of, that, when leading a new suit and having three small ones (including the nine), that the top one is led.

Other experienced players never do so, in order, of course, not to confuse partner with the overall hand count, but how about the 10 from 1098 or the 9 from 987?

The key here, at least from declarer’s perch, and after given the gift of seeing his entire army of 26 cards instead of only 13 of one’s own plus one by one from partner and the declarer, some advantage, even if tiny, will often accrue to declarer.

My experience dictates fairly strongly that the eight of spades (even though easily, correctly and once in a while resoundingly) being played before the seven or smaller is not often done, and especially by lesser experienced players, who are not far enough along to understand how often that theoretically tiny factor becomes a determining force in making the incredible “winning” decision.

Other than to offer the above, I have nothing more to say, in addition to your two thoughtful comments, which carries with it, how to think, in trying to be as successful, as all of us want to be.

Bill CubleyOctober 20th, 2021 at 3:38 pm

Will the Wolves be in Austin? I am scheduled for the LM Pairs and the next day only. Dinner might be possible with me and Shannon Cappelletti if you wish to. No problems if we cannot.

bobbywolffOctober 20th, 2021 at 6:44 pm

Hi Bill,

Thanks for the invitation , but we will not be there.

Tell Shannon hello and Judy and I wish the both of you a prosperous tournament.