Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, November 12th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoNovember 26th, 2021 at 1:12 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps south timed it wrongly. Suppose after winning the lead, he plays A of hearts and assuming J is played by west, south leads A of diamonds, ruffs a diamond while west plays Q, leads two top spades pitching club. When west follows to second spade, twelve of his cards are accounted. Two spades , one heart, two diamonds and seven clubs. Now south needs to take a call on west’s remaining card. Only if it is Q of hearts and south finesses east , he would lose the contract as west would win and force south with club and when south ruffs diamond, he doesn’t have an entry to hand without sacrificing a trick. But in all other cases i.e. when west has a void or a lower heart, finesse wins, dummy ruffs a diamond, south ruffs spade . With today’s layout south scores thirteen tricks and in case east held four hearts to Q, he gets only one trump trick and will have mortification of allowing south to score first twelve tricks or if ruffs at twelfth trick, he needs to provide stepping stone to dummy’s spade. So finesse is percentage line.
And had West followed with nine on A of hearts, south knows that he cannot make it unless trumps are 2-3 and plays accordingly. But as always, playing at the table is something and analysing later is perhaps easy and probably anyone can do it. And kudos to Helgemo for the psychological coup. He took the contract down at the cost of an inconsequential OT

bobbywolffNovember 26th, 2021 at 2:51 pm


As always when you analyze, you give a complete picture, one where the reader, with sometimes a need to delve, can then better understand the choices available to which, and in this case, the declarer was led, because of Helgemo’s brilliant falsecard.

Without your assistance, a mere mortal at bridge is disadvantaged to the extent of possibly losing his desire to pursue, simply due to its ultra complex nature.

Thanks much from all of us for charitably taking your precious time to ease the task allowing all readers to much more easily, bask in the bridge thrill (or at the least should be), that was indeed, accomplished.

And, yes, we, nor likely few aficionados, can 100% vouch for the above actually happening, but rather just being theoretical.

However, in either event, we can all just begin to understand just how sensational our game lends itself to quick and lightening thinking and with it, pure and unadulterated talent.