Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, October 23rd, 2021


A V Ramana RaoNovember 6th, 2021 at 10:54 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Quite an interesting hand very well played but suppose south ducks East’s K of clubs . Most probably, east will continue clubs. Now, south has a forced way for making the contract as dummy ruffs and leads K of hearts and if west ducks, continues with hearts . If west ducks again, spade finesse and heart or say west takes and leads club, south wins, leads trump to dummy, spade finesse and draws outstanding trump discarding diamond from dummy reaching five card position ( after two clubs, club ruff, one spade and four trumps) in which dummy will have two spades and three diamonds ( dummy discarded a spade and a diamond on club A and fourth trump., south retains one spade and four diamonds and squeezing east hopelessly. If east keeps four diamonds and one spade,south cashes spade A , dummy gets additional spade and if east discards diamond, south gets three diamonds. Again , just like in column line, a spade return by east at T2 and another by west after winning heart A only would break the squeeze but a defense perhaps difficult to find but then again, this is a doubledummy analysis. Since the hand intrigued me a bit, I thought that there should be a way to make if south can duck the lead.
Hope I have not missed something

bobbywolffNovember 6th, 2021 at 2:01 pm


First, if you have missed something, it is not I, said the “sparrow” who will find it.

Indeed, while ducking the first club, might be the right play, it is so unusual, (at least in my experience), and would naturally take so much time to decide, it likely becomes ill-fated to even consider it.

Although bridge, most often declarer’s play, but with an unlucky defender’s ultra difficult specific decision, perhaps a close second, and as a rule the most time consuming enterprise, thus likely a close second, both the opponents and the game itself needs to keep moving making those who consistently violate this unwritten, but highly noticeable restriction, not at all popular.

Having said the above, it does not begin to apply to your function, since not a soul was disadvantaged nor, of course, hung out to dry, while waiting.

No doubt, even the possibility of ducking the first club, would be the start of delving perhaps too deep into what figured to be a not so pleasant exercise for all concerned (again at the table, not here).

IOW, to each his own, and while a wolf might not want to wait his supper, an AVRR might welcome the chance to continue to be perfect in his analysis.

If so, all will be (as usual), unanimous (or almost) in delight with all of your most determined, hard work.

Iain ClimieNovember 6th, 2021 at 3:03 pm

Hi Bobby,

Poor east can’t even wriggle when discarding as the 5-0 D break makes his hand easy to work out. No amount of agonised squirming or bravely unguarding the SK early on will make any difference at all as long as declarer is alert. Nicely played though.



Iain ClimieNovember 6th, 2021 at 3:12 pm

Also, is there an alternative line of play here. Suppose South cashes the last trump and diteches a diamond from table, keeping Dxxx and SA in hand with SJxx and DAx on table. If east keeps SKx, South plays DA and another setting up a long diamond. If he comes down to SK alone, South can cash the SA, D to the Ace and cash the SA. That does need the SJ on table though and the immaterial squeeze works by squeezing out East’s exit card instead.


Iain ClimieNovember 6th, 2021 at 3:18 pm

Sorry, second SA should be SJ above. Playing the SA twice is likely to get noticed and some serious questions asked!

bobbywolffNovember 6th, 2021 at 8:38 pm

Hi Iain,

Not so, if you just suggest that you are only the bridge traffic cop, and no one has neither broken the speed limit nor performed magical bridge tricks or, at least, be caught doing so.