Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 10th, 2021


Iain ClimieNovember 24th, 2021 at 1:15 pm

Hi Bobby,

A complication here, looking at just the NS hands. Suppose West leads the D7, won in dummy and East pays the D3. A spade towards the KQJ is taken by East who returns the D2. Now, was that lead a singleton or from Q107? Many players shy away from doubleton leads (although Q10x is hardly an ideal holding either) and a spade from (say) 5 small might be more attractive than either of these diamond holdings. So what would you do at T3?

Also, the diamond holding on a different day is a standard safety play for no more than one loser via D to Ace and then back towards the K98 intending to put in the 8 against East’s possible Q10xx. Unnecessary today of course but all part of homework.

Also a quick word on a regular contributor; I haven’t seen much form David Warheit recently and I hope he’s well.



A V Ramana RaoNovember 24th, 2021 at 1:45 pm

Hi lain
South has three certain losers in Aces. If west has singleton diamond, it is immaterial what south does. His ruff would be setting trick. So hope he has doubleton and play K

Iain ClimieNovember 24th, 2021 at 2:20 pm


I’m glad one of us is awake and it isn’t me! You also have to play the K or you (potentially) can’t get back for the discards in time. Possibly a trickier decision at pairs, especially if West leads the D7 with little thought. If declarer reads this as a singleton, should he settle for conceding the ruff?


A V Ramana RaoNovember 24th, 2021 at 3:02 pm

Hi lain
Better play K. If west had singleton diamond, he ruffs anyway and unless he holds remaining aces, south goes down two but if west follows south is assured of the contract by pitching remaining diamonds from dummy on spades. I don’t know whether I am missing something . Perhaps our host is the best person to respond

bobbywolffNovember 24th, 2021 at 5:26 pm

Hi Iain & AVRR,

If someone was missing something, it was not much to miss.

The subject today is relatively simple, saving an entry to when it might be vitally needed.

However, since it appeared at trick one, the declarer needs to rub the sleep from his or her eyes and take the long term advice given early in his or her bridge learning and study the entire hand.

Good lesson, immediate attention, satisfying result.

And even if by doing so (rising in dummy) it happens by a strange twist to result in an extra down trick (opening leader has all five diamonds) do not adversely react to such tough luck.

By so doing (as little though which might be needed), that declarer will have proven that the sky is the limit for him or her by, assuming the necessary talent,
that player is on the way, at least IMO, to an excellent bridge career