Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, November 11th, 2021


Iain ClimieNovember 25th, 2021 at 1:31 pm

Hi Bobby,

Looking at all the worst case scenarios with BWTA (e.g. partner has a 3325 8 count and bids 1N over 1D, or partner has a 1-3-4-5 15 count over 1S and settles for 5D when 3N is far better – there are many others) and even considering how a cunning trap pass can fail (the hand is passed out when partner had SKxx and DAQ) we should be grateful that this hand shape is so rare.

On the main hand, though, will EW make 4H assuming North starts off with the SJ (although he may well prefer the DQ). Dummy covers, and South cashes the SQ then plays a third spade on which West may decide to pitch a club, hoping to draw trumps and for 3-2 clubs. This could go awry although the club finesse works. Any idea if 4H made in the other room?



A V Ramana RaoNovember 25th, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Hi lain
Once north ruffs third spade, south is at least 6-5 in diamonds and spades so south cannot hold three trumps and if south is void in clubs with doubleton trump, north would surely return club hoping south will ruff in which case contract cannot be made. So in case north returns club and south doesn’t ruff, second round of trumps makes South’s 5161 distri clear to declarer who can take the marked club finesse. Even if north returns a diamond, two rounds of trumps , cash one high club just in case singleton Q falls and club finesse.
And perhaps north should have passed four spades as he can be fairly certain that south has 6-5 in diamonds and spades and south would perhaps escape for two down on careful play starting with working on diamonds first instead of trump

Iain ClimieNovember 25th, 2021 at 3:12 pm


Thanks for that although I fear 4S X would be grim on repeated heart leads and are an early switch to the CJ. The DA can be taken early again, thus blocking the suit, and allowing the defence to keep bashing away. Obviously EW would like 800 but they can’t have been terribly distressed with +500 if teammates lost 420.


jim2November 25th, 2021 at 4:10 pm

Sitting North, I would pass 4S because it is not doubled yet. E-W might even bid 5H.

Once doubled, however, I would bid 5D when it came back around to me.

bobbywolffNovember 25th, 2021 at 4:21 pm

Hi Iain & AVRR,

Today, and little doubt, our AOB readers will be giving thanks to both of you for dissecting today’s bridge offering.

I guess South took significant note of one of our games most quoted comments, “six, five, come alive” since he opened the bidding with his hand (I would also, but like porcupines make love, VERY carefully).

However, when making close decisions, it is probably better to be consistent, almost always bold or instead conservative, since, in fact, your regular partner will probably respond more positively to someone he can always trust.

In any event Happy and a Thankful thanksgiving to all, except for the poor turkeys, (birds, not weak bridge players).

Speaking of that, today is also the first day of the long awaited return to face-to-face ACBL tournament bridge in Austin, Texas with the Fall Nationals.

Good luck with having a substantial attendance, but like a good bridge player, be able to count the overall tables which indeed show up, and, for a variety of reasons, do not be overly optimistic.

Always thanks to both of you for the time you give, helping all of us to concentrate on our beloved game.

bobbywolffNovember 25th, 2021 at 6:25 pm

Hi Jim2,

Add more letters to your malady, call it PTCM-post traumatic card migration.

Being vulnerable and hearing partner bid 2 suits to which you not only had 4 hcps in them, you were longer in his first suit with togetherness.

True, you probably should not be sure of taking 11 tricks in diamonds, but I would be happy to lay down my hand as dummy.

Furthermore, I am not railing against partner’s 4 spade continuation, although it was dangerous, since it might be just as adventurous not to mention spades, opposite what could easily be good support, making the more spades partner may have the fewer diamonds he might possess. If, of course, partner had the ace instead of the king of diamonds, we likely would have a profitable holiday, just another reason to be thankful.

However, my rosy outlook might just be fool’s gold, but one never knows, does one?

Happy Thanksgiving and instead of wishing you good luck, I will just wish it to be better.

bobbywolffNovember 25th, 2021 at 6:42 pm

Hi again Jin2,

Please excuse my response, since I did not check and forgot that North had already raised to 2 diamonds (a very questionable action). Thus, I can then understand your fear of being doubled, unless, of course, you could play the magician and make one of your hearts a diamond.

Although I think I would still immediately prefer 5 diamonds, I can see what you mean by passing 4 spades, hoping to shrink among the violets. Sorry for my emphasis and I promise more research before I shut up and thought a fool rather than ……………………