Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 8th, 2022


Iain ClimieJanuary 22nd, 2022 at 9:55 pm

Hi Bobby,

As a general point should declarer lead the CQ or CJ here? I seem to recall advice that the higher card is more likely to induce a cover, although with CK10 alone West will surely cover regardless. Now consider a holding like CQ107 opposite A532. If the 10 fetches the K, when declarer might have Q109x(x) to be playing this way is there a fair inference that West holds K alone (although K9 is possible I suppose, but probably not K8)? It would need a very brave declarer to play small to the 7 on the way back.



bobbywolffJanuary 23rd, 2022 at 1:25 pm

Hi Iain,

Since the main point in these discussions (at least it should be), lead the honor card from the closed hand which will best determine (by the declarer) what to do next (if West covers or not and either way declarer’s side wins the trick).

That fishing edition will probably result in West not covering the jack while holding three of them, but will while holding 2 or fewer).

It becomes a psychological guessing game, but
one thing to offer, If West held the K10 doubleton he would no doubt cover the queen or the jack, but grudgingly as a matter of camouflage.

Need I say more about the winning of more “so-called” mind battles is very much a barometer as to just how up the totem pole is that opponent. Nothing really unethical in doing something in reasonable tempo, but the really great worldwide and North American players know when to pick their spots, leaving my final thought being, if one bats below 500 (50%), he will never reach the heights he desires, no matter what else he does or how accurate he follows his percentages.

bobbywolffJanuary 23rd, 2022 at 4:23 pm

Hi again Iain & possibly others,

When I speak of grudgingly I do not mean breaking temp, but only not covering convincingly, like a person normally might do.

IOW I, and hopefully, perhaps others, are not obligated to give anything extra away, but rather be on an equal path, along with declarer,
to get an even break, while sometimes laboring hard, on defense. Yes, table ethics are extremely important, but at least, to my knowledge, there is no edict that the defense, often at an ethical disadvantage, should be forced into giving away more than necessary, while defending.

Finally, yes, the above can be somewhat confusing in its interpretation, but hopefully
all players, regardless of their specific roles while dealing with bridge ethics, maintain a 50% attitude as to their obligations.

bobbywolffJanuary 24th, 2022 at 2:46 pm

Hi again to anyone interested,

If, at trick two and as declarer, you possessed the KJ109 of a suit and your RHO had won the first trick in another suit and led the
queen through your closed hand KJ109 (with the ace not in dummy then *assuming that the king is the unquestionably correct play from you” as it normally would be, you should not be required to play it faster than what could and should be determined normal tempo.

Hoping that the above example gets across my point.