Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022


Iain ClimieFebruary 16th, 2022 at 3:03 pm

Hi Bobby,

A simpler line is to cash the DK at T2, then 2 top hearts ending on table then run diamonds. True, this fails against 4-1 H (barring H10 or HQ when South can switch tack) but there are a couple of problems here. West with HQx and Dxx(x) might try the effect of ditching the HQ which could work nicely. The other problem is that East has HQ10xx. Now HA then H to the K may not work if East can ruff in early and lead back a trump, killing the spade ruff and cutting declarer off from dummy. I think the line you suggest is still significantly better than either declarer’s at the table, while cashing the DK early must be right) but this is a hand where there will almost certainly (barring trumps 5-0) be a line that works but no guarantee of finding it.



A V Ramana RaoFebruary 16th, 2022 at 3:45 pm

Hi lain
If trumps were 3-2, there are many ways to succeed, simplest would be to ruff spade at T2, come to hand with A of trumps, unblock K of diamonds ( optionally, this could be done at T2 ) trump to K and diamonds which would fail only if the person with outstanding trump holds singleton diamond , a rather remote chance. The classic safety play takes care of 4-1 heart break provided diamonds are not breaking badly. But if you observe , the real fly in the ointment is nine of hearts with south. Just swap nine of hearts in south hand with any low card in either EW hand. Now declarer simply plays for 3-2 break as the safety play cannot guarantee the contract and he either makes or goes down but no swing could be there because result would be same in other room .Sometimes, having a card of higher denomination could be undoing

bobbywolffFebruary 16th, 2022 at 7:27 pm

Hi Iain & AVRR,

Since between the two of you, most every contingency is mentioned, except perhaps 50%+ more.

However, at least IMO, it is not necessary to try and theoretically compute what is best, particularly so when there are the many options, described or at least hinted at, since in all probability almost all of them are very similar to success as possible.

Trying to be perfect is admirable, but not necessarily practical, when time taken is also to be considered.

The above paragraph does not coincide
with many others opinion, but to not be aware of inconveniencing the whole table does not either, speak eloquently

Iain ClimieFebruary 16th, 2022 at 9:38 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

Thanks for that but if trumps are 3-2 the spade ruff is premature. Instead cash DK, HA, HK and start on diamonds. That only fails if the D are 6-0 and the void has 2H which is massive odds against. As you say though, if H behave almost anything works.