Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, November 20th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoDecember 4th, 2021 at 11:43 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Another scintillating declarer play.All columns of this week are really good with plays of a high standard. However I note the following: After Mello exited with a low heart after winning spade return , Hamman wins and now it is a plain tenace in hearts and split tenace in spades ( no ruffing finesse in hearts as mentioned is needed as dummy would be left with A 10 in hearts and must have discarded a low heart on fourth trump)
And another interesting point is , on an initial spade lead, declarer doesn’t have any chance as east is taken off the hook and most interestingly, had West led diamond A and continued, east wins and if he returns high card in either major , the squeeze on east is inevitable provided south guesses trumps which probably he would . So east must return his remaining diamond providing a needless ruff and discard and now , if south ruffs in dummy, he loses the contract. He must make the contra intuitive play of ruffing in hand , guess trumps ( not difficult after west’s double) and squeeze east. Quite an interesting hand
And honestly, I am curious to know how the contract went down two at other table.

Iain ClimieDecember 4th, 2021 at 12:35 pm


Suppose EW don’t bid vs 5C. West leads a H, presumably a singleton, so South probably cashes CA but can he now unravel? A club to the 10 and the CK allow East to ditch a diamond and two spades but declared is trapped on table. Maybe West started off with DA and another Instead. The club spots are awkward as 4-0 with East means the CK has to be played first.

Maybe Bobby has the details.



A V Ramana RaoDecember 4th, 2021 at 1:18 pm

Hi lain
Even if south loses a trump to west, as long as he doesn’t return a spade, south can curtail the damage to one down as east gets squeezed in majors. And, somehow , I feel that at the second table where Mello was declarer, heart lead was not in order. Looking at four trumps in hand and after partner bid spades, perhaps a spade lead stands out. First, there could be a natural trump trick if south held all three top honours or even on a misguess and west might be sacrificing it in an unnecessary heart ruff. And probably heart lead might present additional trick , may or may not
As mentioned, I am just curious

bobbywolffDecember 4th, 2021 at 1:57 pm

Hi Iain,

I do not have the details, but it is not unusual, even in World Championships, for some players to get careless when the early play, often dictated both by a different start and a lesser good guess (here a first round trump finesse with the successful line, dictated by the penalty double) occurs, but only at one table.

The stakes become less meaningful, causing the human condition to grow lax, akin to a poorly thrown intercepted pass in an American football game, a wild pitch in baseball, an air ball in basketball, not to mention a double fault in tennis.

Does that appear cricket to you and become a reason for my ignorance?

BTW, it could be not remembered (perhaps on purpose), even by the unknown declarer, at least by me, who suffered its ignobly.