Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, October 14th, 2021


Iain ClimieOctober 28th, 2021 at 9:27 am

Hi Bobby,

I suspect South helped cause Est’s failure to cover today by calling for a small spade from dummy. East’s autopilot (2nd hand low) would then operate allowing South to run the 5. If South had called more conspicuously for the S6, East’s suspicions might have been aroused although the spade distribution is clear to East, or should be. Sometimes apparently equal cards may not be so in practice – a bit like taking a finesse with QJ10xx opposite Axxx. If you want to remain in hand, lead the 10; if you want to maximise the chance of a cover, lead the Q.



Iain ClimieOctober 28th, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Hi Bobby,

Can’t NS get 500 off 3C doubled? S to A, D to A, D ruff, H to Q, HA, D ruff, HK? Ouch! West doubtless hoped for 6C tricks but that’s all he gets.


bobbywolffOctober 28th, 2021 at 1:40 pm

Hi Iain,

You’re right and then you’re right again, since EW can easily lose seven tricks on defense while playing a three club doubled contract. To do so would make Ambrose Bierce’s come alive, at least for that moment.

However, in the heat of battle and during the bidding, South envisioned a more suitable dummy, although he, South, had already shown a good hand with his 2 spade jump so in retrospect, perhaps he should have not continued in spades, although doubling 3 clubs, a valid option, might neither be always successful, certainly not to the tune of +500.

Live and learn, learn and live, two valid options, sometimes resulting as fickle as both the dealing process and, of course, lady luck.

A V Ramana RaoOctober 28th, 2021 at 2:30 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps I am missing something but regarding dummy reversal, south may fall a trick short. Say he cashes A of spades and uses the heart entries to ruff three diamonds and cash heart winner in hand, In the four card position, if he leads trump, East’s hand become high and if he leads club, west wins, east discards heart . West continues clubs with dummy discarding winning diamond. East is forced to ruff and settle for one down
And Doubledummy, perhaps west could have continued with low club at T2 . East ruffs and now ther is no way south can make the contract

Iain ClimieOctober 28th, 2021 at 3:58 pm

Hi Bobby,

There is a modern version of Bierce’s work (I think) at Modern offices are often full of motivational posters (or patronizing nonsense if you’re a cynic) but these are the opposite. They are described as demotivational posters e.g. a picture of a large snowball clearly gathering momentum and growing as it comes down a hill. The caption is “Teamwork – a few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of total destruction””. Excellent for a bad day at the office. Consistency is another favourite – I won’t spoil your fun though.



jim2October 28th, 2021 at 4:42 pm


The contract is 3S, not 4S.

bobbywolffOctober 28th, 2021 at 5:34 pm

Hi AVRR & Jim2,

As always, thanks to both of you, in this case, especially Jim2, since his assessment agreed with moi, the designated proof-reader, chief bottle washer, young buck, (I wish!), and incredible dreamer (proof above).

A V Ramana RaoOctober 29th, 2021 at 11:41 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff and Jim2
Rather silly of me

bobbywolffOctober 29th, 2021 at 2:07 pm


Neither perfect nor close to silly, you are not.

Anyone who have met, nor really ever thought they saw, an error less bridge player, should have his eyes checked since, AFAIK, none have ever existed.

Honorable, ethical, credit, erudite dependable or even brilliant are all worthwhile names for good or great players to be thought, but anywhere near perfect in bridge has never nor ever will be, achieved, at least IMO, with our potential error filled game, lurking on every street corner.

Lady luck demands her say, and until or unless the sky one not so fine day falls, no one will ever live to see a perfect one.

Furthermore, that fact is one of the major reasons we continue to challenge each other for the right to make fewer mistakes, meaning likely certain with each and every relatively short session we cannot help leaving ourselves, shall we say, vulnerable.