Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, November 24th, 2021


Iain ClimieDecember 8th, 2021 at 9:31 am

Hi Bobby,

Should declarer put all his eggs in one basket with the 2nd club finesse though? If the DJ drops or H are 3-3 (both of which can be tried first) isn’t he home without the risk of both club honours being offside? This raises the question of how to play the hand if it goes SA at T1, club finesse losing (East playing the C6), spade to the KIng and East now leads the C4 suggesting a doubleton….



bobbywolffDecember 8th, 2021 at 2:48 pm

Hi Iain,

According to Samuel Johnson’s poignant quote and since I’m the one doing the teaching, how dare you point out my error!

However, and on a slightly lighter side, you are possibly right assuming East did not unblock his king at trick three (it was not disclosed at trick one).

While theoretically the club honors figured to be 1-1, East (especially if clubs were originally four three with EW) could be making a very testing defense by doing what you suggested.

However. perhaps at trick five, after declarer had won the first club and then led a red card to dummy and then taken the first club finesse
which lost, followed by West continuing a spade to his partner’s king, South should false card the jack (now worthless) but likely deceptive enough to convince East to lead a third spade (if he had one), in case the opening leader did start with the five he would have without declarer’s false card.

If so, while it is certainly possible, with all players being magical beyond belief for declarer to fall back on what you suggest and play for either red suit to behave, instead of what worked (the second club finesse).

Perhaps during my first bridge game in heaven, all the above will happen and bridge (as all posters on our site will attest) will be treated to what could be a heavenly advantage, bridge, at its best, and, on a continual basis.

Thanks for your ever thinking bridge mind, but, for the time being, quit making it so difficult for me, to present what started out to be a relatively simple point, but, because of your delving, certainly didn’t end that way.

Finally as Ralph Edwards (many years ago and former host of the popular radio show, Truth or Consequences) would have said “Aren’t we Devils”? which according to my possible venue might be, directly on point.

Iain ClimieDecember 8th, 2021 at 4:42 pm

HI Bobby,

Sorry about that! If it cheers you up, that is about the only thing that has gone right for me today – I’ve had rhinitis (inflamed nostrils and sinuses) causing sneezing, spluttering and coughing. This in turn led the office to panic and ask me to go and get a COVID test (negative) then to work remotely (which I don’t enjoy). They didn’t actually give me a small bell to ring as a warning to others but you get the general picture.

It is still easier to point such things out with the benefit of hindsight, a good & well-written column to take aim at and the sight of all 52 cards, of course.



bobbywolffDecember 8th, 2021 at 5:37 pm

Hi Iain,

Since I hardly ever proof read what I write enough times (If 4 is necessary then only 3, if 3, then only 2, etc.). Thus I substituted clubs for spades, and I cannot even use black on black as an excuse).

Of course, your malady needed attention, almost as important as a bridge hand, but all’s well that ends well, NEGATIVE.

Thanks for your possible other line of play, which others need to figure out whether it becomes a percentage move, but since psychology also enters into the math (actually probably not, but it sounds OK to exaggerate) I need help in determining the solution.

BTW, I don’t have rhinitis but still have an inflamed nose, “large” which doesn’t require a COVID test to prove.

And also we are at least slightly different in work preference, you prefer the office, while I simply choose, “not anywhere”.

Oh well, the time necessary for you to catch up to my age will continue to dwindle as I intend to try for three digits.

Who said “Old bridge players don’t die, they just fade away”? Please subtract the last four words to make it feel more secure.

A V Ramana RaoDecember 8th, 2021 at 6:09 pm

Hi lain
Get well soon. Perhaps you can try steam inhalation with little turmeric powder. Though it may not cure infection, certainly provides relief as you would feel comfortable

A V Ramana RaoDecember 8th, 2021 at 6:13 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
I saw lain’s post and commented and then read your reply. Perhaps suggested process could help you too. It indeed did provide relief to me sometime back

bobbywolffDecember 9th, 2021 at 12:15 am


Thanks for the advice, but I do not suffer from the non-ability to breathe, but, instead only the occasional inability to take enough tricks.

Cutting off my nostrils to spite my face is a possible choice, but likely just too brutal.

In any event, it is always a pleasure to nose you.

Iain ClimieDecember 9th, 2021 at 9:46 am

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

Many thanks for the kind words and advice.



Iain ClimieDecember 9th, 2021 at 6:26 pm

HI Bobby,

Just a quick update and a nasty surprise – I do need the “bell” after all. Despite a negative test last Friday and a negative result from a home test on Weds, the more accurate test I had yesterday indicating I’ve got COVID and not what I thought. I’m therefore self-isolating for 10 days much to my annoyance. I’m coughing and sneezing a fair bit but have had two jabs, am surprisingly fit for my age (63) and I am otherwise OK although not exactly pleased. I should be OK by Christmas, though.

Take care everyone but at least you can’t get the wretched virus over the internet and via blogs!



bobbywolffDecember 9th, 2021 at 7:19 pm

Hi Iain,

While your news is definitely disturbing, that nasty disease will be over matched
by your powerful determination and your always winning personality.

With all of your friends and allies on the internet thinking and pulling for you, whichever variety of infection will soon disappear into nothingness.

No finesses nor suit splits required, just the outreaching love all of us feel for you, will guarantee a full recovery.

Keep us up to date on your return to 100% health where merely going down one or two will be the only thing bothering you.

Much love and from all your dedicated forever pals!

Iain ClimieDecember 9th, 2021 at 9:04 pm

Cheers Bobby,

Many thanks for that. I’m still clattering away working though, albeit at home and with blog breaks. I can still taste chocolate and am about to check beer – apparently loss of taste is a side effect.