Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, February 4th, 2022


A V Ramana RaoFebruary 18th, 2022 at 3:04 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
This hand is a little intriguing. If south can make four club tricks, he is assured of the contract . If he goes after hearts first and succeeds, he can afford to concede a club but if misguesses, he needs to bring in four club tricks Prospects for four club tricks can be either via club finesse or play for singleton K in either hand. However if declarer starts clubs and can manage only three club tricks, the options available are : simple guess in heart suit as it offers two way finesse for Q, triple squeeze someone guarding all suits after cashing clubs. The squeeze in pointed suits operates only if a spade is not returned after losing club but invariably spade would be returned. And if west were to hold singleton club K today, declarer would have lost the contract while had he played A of clubs. Perhaps you may please share your wisdom regarding the merits of each line

A V Ramana RaoFebruary 18th, 2022 at 3:08 pm

Please read
” declarer would have lost the contract as played and succeeded had he played A of clubs.”
In last but one sentence

Iain ClimieFebruary 18th, 2022 at 3:18 pm

Hi AVRR, Bobby,

I can understand leading a small club towards the AJ first to cater for K alone onside but K9xx is far more likely and dropping K offside will take a lot of explaining away when C3-2 with the K onside is much more likely.
As a matter of style (and greed with some partners) I’m old fashioned enough to start with 2N as North, partly so I can play the hand but how does North catch up after 2C 2D 2S? Yes 2N is caveman-esque and perhaps should be restricted to dead flat hands but then at least South knows he is facing 8-10 pts and the partnership won’t (or shouldn’t) stop short of at least a slam try e.g. South bids 4N with a flat 23 count and North passes with an 8 count.

In terms of the quote, it is true enough except that common sense is endangered (and not just in today’s world) while look at the ferocious arguments over climate change over the last 30-40 years – from scientists. Yet there were numerous ideas like less waste, restoring fish stocks, silviculture, regenerative agriculture and cleaner alternatives to fossil fuels which would have made sense regardless. So, given the opportunity to pursue such win-win options (which I agree need funding) or bicker about who was right, what happened? Depressingly predictable, despite the apparent intelligence of many of those involved.



A V Ramana RaoFebruary 18th, 2022 at 3:44 pm

Hi lain
Regarding the quote:
Yes, it is very unfortunate. The advancement of science by and large improved the quality of life to some point of time and after that, perhaps, though many people enjoy better quality of life, there are many people who live pathetic life. And they are not alone in the suffering. Poor Mother Earth suffers silently the senseless tampering of Environment and unless we the homo sapiens become sensible and behave in a responsible way, it is only countdown to the doomsday

jim2February 18th, 2022 at 4:09 pm

With my luck, if I sat E-W, the contract would be seven clubs.

bobbywolffFebruary 18th, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Hi AVRR & Iain,

Since between both of you, there is no good reason for me to expound with any additional sound advice.

As usual, your discourse is certainly adequate to, at the very least, cover enough of the waterfront to sufficiently deal with the alternative ways to proceed, leaving me only to answer Jim2 next.

In addition I would be way down the list (and somewhat ashamed) with my knowledge of scientific evidence, capable of also contributing to the whys and wherefores involving climate change.

Just happy (and speaking also for Judy) to be joining with both of you when and if thought to be, an equal, qualified, and intelligent enough, homo sapien. Sadly, up to now, when someone might mention the environment, my thoughts would wander toward bridge ethics.

bobbywolffFebruary 18th, 2022 at 5:56 pm

Hi Jim2,

Gotcha, but then have your thoughts go to then teaching advanced bridge and how that 4-4 trump fit enabled a grand slam to be bid and made, instead of only twelve tricks available in NT.

Yes, I know that if your opponents bid to 7NT the J10x of diamonds would represent your defensive distribution, alongside with the king of clubs being onside and the suit 3-2.

However, you as East might have (in another life) J10xx in diamonds but no queen of hearts) and falsecard a diamond honor on declarer’s cashing his two top diamond honors, so that he would not correctly finesse the hearts, since he now might now hope (expect) 4 diamond tricks.

When no real luck ever comes your way, it becomes necessary to outdo everyone else with great plays and you are among the qualified few.

Besides. being thought of as being among the very best to ever play our game and yet, never having won a tournament, is quite a distinguished parlay.

Iain ClimieFebruary 18th, 2022 at 6:38 pm

HI Bobby,

Many thanks for the kind comment and not telling the truth i.e. that I’m a shameless hog at times. On environmental issues, maybe it is time to think as if we’re in a really bad contract i.e. if we clutch at enough straws we can build a raft.

Hi Jim2,

What did you do in a past life (or even this one)? Did you chase 13 black cats under a ladder thus tripping up two guys carrying a whole box of mirrors? There again, maybe there is a whole parallel universe out there where the luck is inverted and different you is world bridge champion as well as married to Julia Roberts (or whoever else you would like).


You may find the results of Gabe Brown’s regenerative farming efforts in N. Dakota of interest, along with Native Americans rewilding bison in some places or even this (originally on the climate coalition website):

Hang in there, though and don’t lose hope!



ld, bridge

jim2February 18th, 2022 at 11:21 pm

Iain Climie –

Karapet was lucky compared to me!

Did I tell you what happened to me last Thursday …?

bobbywolffFebruary 19th, 2022 at 1:10 am

Hi Jim2,

Water would have quenched it.

jim2February 19th, 2022 at 2:50 am

Sadly, I believe it included live electrical sources, flaming petroleum products, and powdered lead.

A V Ramana RaoFebruary 19th, 2022 at 3:58 am

Hi lain
It is not just food which is of concern. When we were kids ( but that was long ago , sixty and odd years back) there was pure air to breathe. No auto pollution, no factory pollution . Just step out and enjoy nature. All the lakes, ponds etc ., were pristine with virtually no contamination . But today, unfortunately virtually every water body is polluted. Wish those old times come back back but the sad reality is it is only wishful thinking. High time human race realises it’s follies and stop tampering environment and perhaps a methodical planning to reduce population should be adopted else the demand outweighs resources and it would be chaos

Iain ClimieFebruary 19th, 2022 at 11:13 am


I wouldn’t over-romanticise the past as London had terrible (and fatal) smogs in the 1950s – large scale coal burning domestically and transport while the Thames is now far cleaner than it was (say) 100 years ago. I remember a lorry crashing into the Manchester ship canal when I was a kid back in the 1960s – the driver apparently survived the crash but he may not have survived the polluted water. Nonetheless, traffic pollution is a major threat in big cities while airports are noisy (although modern aircraft are quieter) and I wouldn’t want to live near one if I were asthmatic. Some places are cleaner but not necessarily in a good way; the UK has shut down most of its heavy industry but that has just shifted much of the associated pollution to China. There are potential solutions out there but they generally require money up front and the failure fo Ecuador’s Yassuni initiative shows how unlikely that is. There is hope, but the next few decades are likely to be a struggle.



bobbywolffFebruary 19th, 2022 at 6:20 pm

Hi AVRR, Iain & Jim2,

Unfortunately most of us are born with the familiar theme of looking out for self first and foremost.

Subjects as above only become pure and worth tasking as well as somehow also “feeling it on almost a daily basis” to move forward. Climate change, like birds in the coal mines, only become obvious to those who are aware of what is happening.

God bless our bliss, but we need non-political leadership to succeed, and, at least up to now, there is none to be had nor likely ever will be.

I, at my tender age, have never even considered what should or should not have been done, but reading the above has gotten my attention.

Finally, heaven help us, if some force doesn’t rally around the flag(s) and, if you’ll excuse the reflection, “bridge the gap”.