Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, October 11th, 2021


Iain ClimieOctober 25th, 2021 at 9:18 am

Hi Bobby,

Another reason for leading the C7 here (instead of an all eggs in one basket CA) is that declarer’s diamonds may not be as solid as he expects. Many players regard AKQ10xxx as solid enough here and if dummy turns up with (say) a singleton, declarer will be disappointed although event AKQJxxx wouldn’t be enough if the suit is 5-0.





A V Ramana RaoOctober 25th, 2021 at 1:49 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
After reading today’s column, I am sorely tempted to quote from Shienwold’s puzzles ( read roughly about forty and odd years back).
After declarer goes down in a cold contract, partner comments : well played partner , but I once knew a man in Singapore who could have gone down two on this hand. Declarer indeed played in an imaginative way to go down but yes, such blindspots do occur. And perhaps same declarer could go down even in three NT , for e.g. once EW cash four spades and say shift to heart, dummy wins and south comes to hand with a top heart without thinking . The clubs stay blocked with no chance of making . Little thinking before play circumvents such accidents
P.S: Hope you didn’t mind the above

bobbywolffOctober 25th, 2021 at 2:03 pm

Hi Iain,

Not only I, but my guess, almost everyone, would lead a low club, hoping that either clubs immediately run or a bad diamond break (certainly possible because of our void) would substitute and thus work in our favor.

As to which club, likely 4th best would be chosen more often, but, if 4th best turned out to possibly be necessary to keep handy, then fifth best could be chosen, although nothing strange for partner to consider (“rule of eleven”) might be the order of the day and the seven is possibly low enough to not worry about giving it up.

Mainly because a club lead seems heaven sent against this auction and thus wiping out partner caused excuses for miss defending, should definitely be avoided.

However, while defending in bridge, it is surely possible that either major may be the killing lead, if partner has that ace, plus the queen of clubs (especially, while holding Q10) ready to come back through declarer’s king (and the evidence to dictate doing so).

We’re not only devils to think of such horrors, but that and equally other unknowns thrive, ready to tear away against our favor and sadly sometimes make us less confident.

At least Jim2’s TOCM TM is known to him, keeping him better equipped to deal with “what might have been”, allowing him to have won the “sportsman of the year” award, instead of the “best player ever” for the last double digit years.

jim2October 25th, 2021 at 2:13 pm

This was the second Board of the set discussed three days ago.

The players were still tippling and so it should come as no great surprise that when West tried to Pass, the bidding card that appeared on the blaze was 1S.

By the time the mistake was realized, it was too late. Mumbled protestations did signal to all that SOMEthing was amiss on the Western Front, but it could also have been that the champagne had run out, so no one paid it any attention.

North certainly paid it scant attention as the 1D overcall was an easy bid.

A sober East might have faced somewhat of a dilemma, as the 1S bid might have been a mistake. The simple raise to 2S was so obvious, that even the somewhat befuddled player had no trouble finding it.

South also had an obvious bid, so 3H was next.

West took great care to extract a Pass from the bid box this time, and now it was North’s turn.

North remembered quite well how the previous hand had gone when he had raised partner with only a doubleton queen as support. Bidding 4D and possibly gaining similar result was also hastily ruled out. So, the auction ended at 3H.

The rest of the room played at 4H.

The sober half made it, while the not-so-sober did not.

Just another average board at the Mud Cup.

bobbywolffOctober 25th, 2021 at 2:21 pm


All of your parables strike home, but when a player forgets to unblock his clubs and then finds 109x tripleton clubs in one defensive hand or the other, shouldn’t it not be considered rude to call him any and/or all ugly names any upset defender may think of?

The “devil I say” just to make myself feel better! And finally AVRR, is there such a thing as “justifiable homicide” in your home community.

However Rudyard Kipling, “IF” he played and loved bridge, might merely add the above mentioned episode as “taking it in stride, on the way to becoming, a man, my son”

Iain ClimieOctober 25th, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Hi Jim2,

Half the declarers were sober and half not – that’s truly shocking although I’ll leave it to you to wok out which way.

Thanks for the post as ever.


jim2October 25th, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Perhaps I was also tippling, as North bid 2D, rather than 1D.

bobbywolffOctober 25th, 2021 at 4:17 pm

Hi Jim2,

No doubt I would not have measured up to Kipling’s son in progress when and if my early bridge experience had begun at the table against Muzzies.

Instead I would have cried “HAD ENOUGH” and sticted to games like War, (high card wins) and solitaire (where, whatever the real result), I won every game. Just another example of life as it really is, a huge raffle, even before conception, with all odds for turnout approximately (more or less) one trillion gazillion to one.

Now, to talk about what can be learned, if this site is frequently frequented.

1. Stay away from the Mud Cup.
2. If impossible, then do not date Lena.
3. If also impossible, then drink hemlock.
4. Import your partner, even if he or she has contracted TOCM TM. At the very least, one will learn the correct bid and play (even though they will never work)!