Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, December 31st, 2021


A V Ramana RaoJanuary 14th, 2022 at 1:02 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Declarer brilliantly unblocked spade ten on lead but perhaps did not follow up with same insight. After lead, south has seven top tricks . If diamonds break, he has eight and if alongwith that, club J appears doubleton or three carded, he has nine. And he can be fairly certain that spades are not breaking and also probably hearts too won’t and since east passed initially and already produced A of spades, it is remote chance that he holds A K of hearts. So there is no hurry for hearts . At T3, he must duck a diamond. Probably east would win and return another club . South wins and now he can play diamonds pitching heart from dummy. East also discards heart. Now south can lead nine of hearts and will score nine tricks as if west rises and plays spades, south gets three spades. If west returns heart, east wins but is endplayed and if west returns club south gets four club tricks. If west plays low, east wins but declarer comes to nine tricks one way or other. The analysis is doubledummy of course but should not be difficult at the table

bobbywolffJanuary 14th, 2022 at 3:16 pm


Thanks always for your deft discussion on possibilities and probabilities of play, allowing a thoughtful reader a proven insight on both order of play and the insight to so do.

With it, all readers can improve both declarer’s order of play, based on percentage holding, and, of course, including the best defense by competent and experienced defenders.

What one can see, both him and her, is self-evident, allowing the reader to decide if and why the winning line (if there is one) becomes the one of choice.

No doubt, the readers who get their bridge minds to concentrate on what and why both the declarer’s play and defense is chosen, will benefit as much as the original declarer felt, keeping in mind that this entire exact hand was actually dealt and played.

Steve ConradJanuary 16th, 2022 at 11:36 am

Perhaps Dali’s famous work, “The Persistence of Memory,” was a prognostication of the persistence of some bridge columns. 😉

bobbywolffJanuary 16th, 2022 at 1:55 pm

Hi Steve,

No doubt memory, particularly one who wants to play bridge well, seemingly, either immediately or eventually, to what it takes to “feel” where unseen cards (and unusual distributions of them) seem to lie.

IOW, the attribute which is so necessarily “akin”, to playing poker at a top level, is also quite handy (and nearly as important) with our game.

Whatever the reason, it seems to exist where so-called detective work becomes much clearer to some, than to others, but like other mysteries of life, does not explain exactly why, although intense all around and encompassing concentration is likely the common denominator.

Meanwhile, our girl Friday seems to have failed us by not posting our weekend bridge columns before she left, and has become very difficult to impossible to contact, to which I cannot do anything but apologize.

Thanks for your post about Dali’s famous work.

Iain ClimieJanuary 16th, 2022 at 2:38 pm

Anybody else missing Saturday and Sunday pages?


Jeff SJanuary 16th, 2022 at 2:50 pm

Iain, I think everyone is missing them, I know I am – in both senses of the word. I am hopeful for a catch-up in the next couple of days.

jim2January 16th, 2022 at 3:10 pm

Me when I checked here the last couple mornings:

MaxJanuary 16th, 2022 at 4:36 pm

See the next to last paragraph of Bobby’s last comment.

MaxJanuary 16th, 2022 at 4:37 pm

See the next to last paragraph in Bobby’s last comment