Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, October 29th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoNovember 12th, 2021 at 2:04 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
A well played hand and interestingly had West led an initial diamond, this would break the double squeeze but south can simply crossruff the hand as singleton trump J falls from West and alternately if west leads J of hearts initially, crossruff would fail as east would return another trump when in with spade but now double squeeze is a certainty if only south takes precaution of leading A of club and ruffing club before leading spade and on club lead , south has both the options of crossruff and double squeeze which would succeed today because of singleton trump J and spade shortness with west and club shortness with east. Quite an interesting hand

Michael BeyroutiNovember 12th, 2021 at 3:55 pm

I quickly ran out of breath. Your first sentence is 9 lines long!
But, as usual, all you say is true and correct.

I’m curious, wouldn’t a dummy reversal, ruffing 4 clubs in hand, also succeed today?

bobbywolffNovember 12th, 2021 at 4:06 pm


Always thanks for your added input.

It continues to be an interesting phenomena to
me that excellent play so many years ago (50+) was essentially the same, even among relatively inexperienced college players with little opportunity to seek and gain high-level knowledge about best and innovative declarer play (and also defense), but still rising to the highest level, at least by some, when challenged.

That above practice took on its own life, but in the last large number of years since, bidding, usually making use of heretofore choices (often artificial bids) almost never either used or thought necessary, but now indoctrinated into current systems to help the partnership determine close but, more accurate, evaluations.

The only significant disadvantage, at least IMO,
is that effort sometimes gives more advantage to opponents (an example, again IMO) is the “support double” which allows wary foes to better judge their own competitive intervention both in the bidding, and, of course the defense, should their opponents buy the hand.

At least to me, the above, plus their ability to either double for a lead or not double for sometimes negative inference, all helping their competitive adversaries to be tougher opponents.

No one can be sure when disadvantages overtake bidding science, but it is likely, at least in my eyes, that going forward, though thought to be all plus, is in fact a mixed advantage and possibly will be figured in the process to definitely be at the very least, often
a questionable (at best) opportunity.

What is your and other ultra qualified players on the above? Keep in mind that bridge, like real life, deals and responds with realism, not just hoped for all innovations to be almost automatically positive.

Possibly a reasonable life example is the pandemic vaccine, which appears, at least to a significant number, to be the elephant in that room.

A V Ramana RaoNovember 12th, 2021 at 4:15 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Yes of course
and Michael : perhaps even on a club lead, south lacks entries for dummy reversal and on a trump lead, he just doesn’t have any chance
PS: next time I will remember to break up into small sentences

bobbywolffNovember 12th, 2021 at 4:16 pm

Hi Michael,

The line chosen in the column was basically the dummy reversal you mention and did work, but not without some relatively normal distributions (certainly including the location of the jack of trumps) which might result in a not so fortunate ending.

Bridge often furnishes its own master, and never underestimate the power of LADY LUCK!

Thanks for taking the time to post.

A V Ramana RaoNovember 12th, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff and Michael
What I meant is one hundred percent dummy reversal i.e. ruffing four clubs may not be possible but dummy reversal coupled with squeeze will manifest due to the actual layout

Joe1November 12th, 2021 at 11:15 pm

Re: Bobby’s comment.

Speaking not as an ultra qualified player, but as a rubber player who enjoys the game and tries to incorporate or at least analyze bidding developments, “modern” tendencies, while occasionally very useful, very often add only confusion with strikingly poor results. On average the KISS approach comes out on top, unless for a very experienced top-level partnership, which I don’t run in to too often, and if I do, hats off to them!

Regarding COVID, play the odds, get the vaccine. It’s better than a 7-0 break.

bobbywolffNovember 13th, 2021 at 3:40 am

Hi Joe1,

No doubt, at least in my mind, that you are correct in all your views.

Modern tendencies in bridge learning need to be first thoroughly understood, discussed, practiced and slowly added, to be effective.

Also both Judy and I have had three shots, of course, including the booster. Perhaps an example of taking the clear percentage play, at least in yours and our view.