Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, December 14th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoDecember 28th, 2021 at 12:25 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Regarding running diamond J after club J. When west wins and returns diamond, south is forced to win in hand, cash remaining diamond and must use the spade A entry to dummy for cashing diamonds and south is limited to nine tricks as south can finesse only once in either major. Obviously he cannot finesse west for spade Q as east can win and push a club. Or is it that I am having a blindspot?

Robert LiptonDecember 28th, 2021 at 12:51 pm

Alternatively, declarer can reason that with hearts splitting 4-4, east would have responded with no more than a queen in his hand.

Bob Lipton

bobbywolffDecember 28th, 2021 at 4:04 pm


Yes and no. No as to your comment, assuming declarer first cashing his king of spades, before leading to his ace, but not seeing the queen falling from West. Therefore then realizing that once that happened, it was fairly safe that East, not West had the king of hearts for his bid (otherwise he had responded with a balanced hand and only two or three hcp. points).

However, it is true that declarer then only scored up nine tricks, but after all that is all they contracted for and for matchpoint tournaments NS did reach the NT game with only a balanced 24 hcps between them, likely insuring them an above average board by making only their contract.

Besides fulfilling my aversion to the overrated nature of overtricks necessary at matchpoints but not at rubber nor IMPs, becoming more important than ever was intended, when our great game likely paused, before having to admit to such a thing.

No doubt, at least to me, that the above fact has cut deeply into the absolute beauty of our pursuit, but the devil himself, probably was the reason for having to do it.

bobbywolffDecember 28th, 2021 at 4:12 pm

Hi Robert (formerly Bob, a problem I have experienced),

100% correct, except for not having “not” in your explanation before “have” or, at least also inserting “probably” in the right place.