Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, November 4th, 2021


Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2021 at 1:21 pm

Hi Bobby,

Can I raise a specific nightmare scenario here i.e. South holds Qxx 109xxxx 109xx A? A bemused declarer takes T1, cashes the CA, crosses to the HA ditching two spades on clubs and winds up just losing a heart and 2D. Long odds against of course, and I recall your comment from Bob Hamman) about not placing partner with specific cards but I fear you’d need a very sympathetic partner here!

I can only sympathise with Jim2 working these two options out at T1 and waiting for the inevitable – a new twist on Morton’s fork, perhaps?



bobbywolffNovember 18th, 2021 at 3:44 pm

Hi Iain,

No doubt you have spotted a flaw, but even Bob Hamman (BTW, a victim of Covid19, but on his way to a hopeful satisfactory long recovery) might cut some slack on East for finessing his partner, even if your nightmare scenario exists.

And when talking about Jim2 and his connection to TOCM TM, perhaps Morton’s 2nd word description should instead include a u and a c in the middle. Only sayin…..

Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Hi Bobby,

Sorry to hear about Bab but please send my best wishes (and I’m sure those of everyone who reads this site) to him for a full and swift recovery.


Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Bob… Finger trouble!

bobbywolffNovember 18th, 2021 at 5:20 pm

Hi Iain,

Now I gotcha! At first glance I thought it was in reference to my spelling riddle rather than “Bab”.

However, a real example of “finger trouble”, although if I do not proofread my typing three or four times, my “stuff” would be even more impossible to read, than it already is.

jim2November 18th, 2021 at 8:01 pm

Truth. It’s all truth!


Iain ClimieNovember 18th, 2021 at 11:02 pm

Hi JIm2,

You realise that if you were ever faced by the Monty Hall problem (analogous to the Rule of Restricted choice) the same nightmare would apply. I recall an undeserved top over 40 years ago where the room was in 4S with AJ109x opposite xxxx in 4S but with manual dealing and lots of entries. I can’t be bothered with this, I thought, especially given the tendency of hand dealing to give even splits, and smacked down the Ace instead of taking 2 finesses. Then aggrieved hand sitting over the A had KQ alone.


jim2November 19th, 2021 at 12:35 am

I remember the furor that Marilyn Vos Savant set off when she posted the solution that became known as “The Monty Hall Problem.”

Many professors and stats folk argued with her, but she was right.

Iain ClimieNovember 19th, 2021 at 9:12 am

Hi Jim2,

The easiest way to get a handle on it is that 2/3 of the time your initial choice is wrong and, in those cases, the show’s host has no choice but to open the box he did. Hence you’re right to change your mind. The similarity to restricted choice at bridge is thus fairly clear.