Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, October 22nd, 2021


Bill CubleyNovember 5th, 2021 at 3:07 pm

Sometimes you gotta play your best just for an average score. Well done!

bobbywolffNovember 5th, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Hi Bill,

Since many of us pay money for the simple excuse of only solving a puzzle, it is no wonder that our chosen game of bridge lends itself to internally do it again and again.

Add that to most times there are wildly
different types of ways to succeed, by first establishing what needs to be done, then, and, of course, use the distribution and high cards known to get it done.

We don’t always succeed with determining 100% of where all the cards happen to be, but in most cases, something of value appears to make it all a very worthwhile exercise.

Bridge brains then usually develop, which most times, tend to make the next attempt, a tad easier.

clarksburgNovember 5th, 2021 at 8:48 pm

Hello Bobby
Matchpoints, Both Vul
Dealer, on your right, passes. You hold:
6 KJ1042 AKQJ65 2
What to open, playing standard methods? Playing your preferred methods?

bobbywolffNovember 5th, 2021 at 10:56 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Very simple answer: Open one diamond and then bid and rebid hearts, likely even if the opener has to rebid hearts at the four level.

No doubt, some sequences are left out, mainly those whose opponents to the hand in question have shown balanced defenses, but, at least IMO, the chances of success with a make or even a profitable sacrifice against a black suit game outweighs other choices.

Of course, if your red suit hand ever gets supported, then, of course, bidding much, is even more of a percentage favorite, but then, in an effort to buy the hand, then not show the powerful distribution in hopes of buying the hand as cheaply as possible.

Let partner take charge with ace asking, until and unless he shows reasonable support for one of the suits, held since your primary job is to show your 11 red cards with strong suits.

Of course, if the two black cards are both the same suit, the strategy needs to direct itself to cue bidding since if partner happens to hold the AK of the void suit instead of the right one, it figures to be a two trick difference.

Finally, even thinking about opening with a game force, instead of 1 diamond shows a definite lack of understanding to what is important, which should be thought of as the poker element in bridge, which usually will become critical with achieving a good result.

Finally, the battle cry of 6-5 COME ALIVE!! definitely applies.

Good luck and happy landing.

clarksburgNovember 6th, 2021 at 12:45 am

Thanks Bobby
I was fully expecting your “one Diamond” answer.
In our Club game yesterday. six of seven Souths, including my Partner, opened it one Heart!! In our private post mortem I explained the rationale for the “open 1D and bid Hearts twice” and that there was enough playing strength to do that.
For whatever reason some self-styled experts have been pushing “always open a five-card major. even if the minor is longer” without considering strength / playing strength.
Thanks again.

bobbywolffNovember 6th, 2021 at 2:47 am

Hi Clarksburg,

The only possible valid excuse for opening 1 heart instead of 1 diamond might be, when playing with a relative beginner, to bid hearts before he has a chance to respond 1 heart and eventually be declarer.

Otherwise, it is a fully reprehensible error and contrary to all acceptable bidding methods to do so.