Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, October 19th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoNovember 2nd, 2021 at 3:26 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps this is a psychological battle between declarer and defense. When heart ten fell on first round, still declarer is not sure of the location of Q. Since east could have opened bidding with eleven points, there is no certainty of east holding Q. And say if east ducks K of clubs but takes next one and obligingly play third round, what declarer would do? Perhaps he may not finesse. Meckstroth is a seasoned declarer and perhaps he might have guessed correctly but yet not for certain. By ducking clubs twice, east made it patent that he holds hearts Q.And the lead of low diamond, declarer guessing correctly gave the contract away. I request your expert opinion please

jim2November 2nd, 2021 at 6:54 pm


I am not Our Host, but I am confident the defenders knew who declarer was.

bobbywolffNovember 2nd, 2021 at 6:54 pm


I could not improve on your step by step full analysis of the aspired declarer play.

My only worthwhile (I hope) added comment concerns itself with not only the habits and level of the specific opponents, but also the entire scenario of both individual defenders, in this case, East being, by a significant margin,
the main attraction.

At least to me, the above becomes the criteria used to separate players of more or less top expert level, since all of
them will be thoroughly familiar with the lead-up, but likely not nearly as uniform, at the crucial moment.

Nothing comes from nothing and instead everything worth anything becomes critical with being (not guessing) right.

However, since mistakes are not usually popular with neither the player involved, nor the reader, a mere report (having nothing to do with today’s hand) is never a conclusive way to judge.

Iain ClimieNovember 3rd, 2021 at 8:22 am

Hi Bobby,

Unless East has Dxxx, declarer always has a winning option on a diamond lead through if he can see all the cards. If East manages to lead the honour form Q9x or J9x, though, then what? Covering is right provided you rise with the 10 on the next round but wrong if East has QJ9. Mind games and the rule of restricted choice apply here except East will definitely lead the DQ (or maybe J) with QJ9.



bobbywolffNovember 3rd, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Hi Jim2 & Iain,

No doubt, some of the most fierce “mind battles” between declarer and either or both defenders, which, in turn, formed some of the most significant and poignant tussels, which significantly have enchanted our game and, my guess, done nothing but make it incredibly more exciting.

Is he/she or isn’t he/she trying to talk or act out a way for me to miss guess simple card combination?

Strangely and at least to my experience, the above has always occurred between two males (perhaps females save their mind battles to win other prizes, often, at least to them, much more valuable).

No other way to describe
this sometimes enchanting part of the game, which, in turn, by scalps on the wall, and then often determines which top player owns another one, if indeed the track record shows it.

Yes, at least to me, my remembrance, both successful and not, of those opportunities, create a fond “feeling”, just for the thrill of major intense and very cerebral competition, emphasized
by (what I hope to have been) strictly, no hold, ethical tempo.