Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 6th, 2022


Iain ClimieJanuary 20th, 2022 at 10:08 am

HI Bobby, Folks,

Something not for the squeamish. What I didn’t realise about the drawing part of the execution method mentioned was that the disembowelling part was done with the victim still alive while the hanging wasn’t the more modern approach (the drop breaking the neck almost instantly) but involved strangulation. The quartering part (which you can work out for yourself) was done after the luckless person had expired though. All seems a bit drastic even for bridge cheats!

Good lead from West today in response to the double although a small one works too – South ducks but East just wins and continues the suit.



jim2January 20th, 2022 at 12:14 pm

In BWTA, would switching the red suits be enough to change your position on 3N?

Iain ClimieJanuary 20th, 2022 at 1:44 pm

Hi Jim2,

Would you be making a try over 1N with this hand (or changed as you suggest) if RHO had passed? If yes, then 3N is probably worth a punt; if no then pass seems reasonable although frustrating. Perhaps form of scoring and vulnerability might be relevant here.



bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Hi Iain,

While the quote can be almost as painful as not finding a way to score up a close contract, especially when doubled, its barbarism may over state its intention.

Although most may agree with your comment on bridge cheats, when one realizes that what happened to Major General Harrison lasts only a speck of time, compared to what bridge cheats have done, and no doubt will continue their all out assault to make our game both implausible and impossible to compete.

In truth, when I am for a forever ban on significant cheaters (major events within a certain context plus, of course the surrounding circumstances) we will be faced with the likelihood of, at the very least, the threat of the continuation of what happened for so many years, all over the world, but especially with the horror of World Championship bridge ever since the early 1950s.

My heart goes out to so many honest and great players (for the specific time) who never had a chance to emerge victorious, though playing on the best team at that time.

Worse still, the beat goes on, especially so since I believe for every significant cheater who has become clear, my guess (and I think educated could precede guess) there are at least 20 worldwide and in almost EVERY bridge NCBO,, (illegal signalling not merely unethical conduct)) who have escaped detection.

Yes, it was a good, but very logical, opening lead by West

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Hi Jim2,

No, I would jump to 3NT even if the two red suits were interchanged.

It seems that, within the expert community, that raising partner’s 1NT to only 2NT with both the partner of an opening 1NT or a responding 1NT to an opening bid of one of a suit has virtually been discontinued, both for practical purposes of being difficult to impossible in discerning how many exact tricks will be available, so go for the maximum result and make it, at least, slightly more difficult for the defense to defend (not hearing the strong hand accept or not) or even scientifically less able to make the “winning” opening lead.

Also it may lead to using a 2NT raise as some other type of hand, as of (at least to my knowledge) not yet done.

However your question reminds me of a car commercial many years ago which went “Ask the man who owns one.” which then needs to seek out a partnership who has been doing the above.

Sorry, I am out of touch, but if I become enlightened, I’ll relay it to both you and Iain.

jim2January 20th, 2022 at 3:33 pm

My Q relates to the exact BWTA auction.

That is, you declined to bid 3N over the 3D interference. With South’s red suits switched, would you now bid 3N over 3D?

bobbywolffJanuary 20th, 2022 at 3:57 pm

Hi Jim2,

Sorry for my mistake of misunderstanding your question, so plainly stated with the BWTA.

While most logic is to pass with the hand as given rather than a TO double (would it be in the absence of discussing that subject TO or penalty, specifically?) or, of course, a flight into know not where by chirping 3NT, the psychology of East’s intervention would be that he would hardly ever compete with a solid suit since he might get a chance to defend 3NT while on lead (too tempting to pass up!). Perhaps: s. KQJ, h. x, d. KJ10xxxxx, c.x or something similar which might then (with the 5th club) lead to a bold plus.

Now, finally to what you ask: Yes, I would bid 3NT while holding Qxx in diamonds, because of the 5th club since, believe it or not, I seriously like my chances (not on defense but rather on offense)–NO WASTED VALUES!