Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, December 30th, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJanuary 13th, 2022 at 12:01 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But perhaps having ducked first heart , east might have as well ducked the heart continuation. Now if south tries low diamond, east wins, cashes A of trump and leads spade locking declarer in dummy and the contract has to go down. Instead, if south ruffs out diamonds and leads trump, again , east wins and leads spade for taking the contract down. Perhaps defense slipped twice to allow the contract, west on initial spade lead and east not ducking second trump. But perhaps declarer also erred. He had a lock for eleven tricks after first heart is ducked. Just ruff out diamonds and lead trump to dummy. If east wins and returns club, play A and ener dummy with either major for running diamonds

Iain ClimieJanuary 13th, 2022 at 12:14 pm

Hi Bobby,

I wonder about a bidding wrinkle here. East is going to bid 4S so it does make sense to bash it out immediately in some ways but here it triggered a losing lead. Is there a way of distinguishing between aa raise to 4S with / without one of the top 2 / 3 honours as NS clearly have the strength? 4H could show a raise to 4S with the SA or K (maybe Q as well) and 4S one without either / any of those cards. Then 4S stops West finding an unfortunate lead although a club won’t help either. Doubling 2S could suggest a top honour without much length and a more efensive hand.

I recall a Bols tip about finding uses for idle bids



bobbywolffJanuary 13th, 2022 at 2:19 pm


Yes, your analysis of this “real” hand is, as usual, right on.

However, the early play of a low diamond from dummy therein losing a trick in that suit which, at least on the surface was not necessary, enabled declarer to be successful.

Those types of play are often overlooked, even by an experienced and capable declarer, but can often get the crucial job done of being the best play for succeeding.

Thanks again for your post, one we should have mentioned, but when dealing with real hands and what may have been accomplished,
it sometimes serves better to include a “twist”,
losing a diamond trick which needed not to have been lost, in order to include the majesty of the game we all love.

bobbywolffJanuary 13th, 2022 at 2:48 pm

Hi Iain,

While what you seek (the defensive ability to preempt the opponent, but warn partner, in the event of becoming an eventual defender, to think twice before leading it), is indeed a difficult weakness to overcome.

First, certain substitute bids (in this case one which is almost never needed) to be conjured up to show that weakness, and, in addition, allows the declarer to glean the same information which might, in turn, allow him to play hands to better advantage.

Not to say that your goal is not a worthwhile one, and one day it might be done with a high jump (possibly four of a minor suit might qualify), almost never done nor needed, as a high raise, but to do so, might be thought by some as only gilding the lily and worse, too easily not remembered).

However when and if ever done and even one hand saved by doing so, would glean great satisfaction to that pair and, no doubt, to its instigator.

Therein high-level bridge is now in the process of making use of heretofore relatively useless bids, and your suggestion could be one of them.

However it will take time to cover that need so DO NOT hold your breath, but if you and I are still both visible and viable when your suggestion gets paid, I hope to be the one who names it Climie, or do you prefer a simpler, Iain?

Iain ClimiieJanuary 13th, 2022 at 2:58 pm

Save time and call it IC / Icy

Iain ClimieJanuary 13th, 2022 at 10:45 pm

HI Bobby,

Call it iC / Icy if you want. Bridge immortality at last? Somehow I think not but thanks anyway!



bobbywolffJanuary 14th, 2022 at 1:02 am

Hi Iain,

Since immortality for any positive reason sounds and feels good, perhaps any reason for claiming it is worth its price in gold.

We’ll leave it at that, but where there is opportunity, usually there are takers and since someone worthy needs to get credit, so why not ……