Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, February 22nd, 2022

1 Comment

bobbywolffMarch 8th, 2022 at 5:30 pm

Hi again everyone,

What needs to be discussed in any and every conclave between veterans and wannabes are the intangibles of winning.

Since simple “counting” is usually (perhaps always) a major subject (and should be) while on defense, East needs to understand that his side is vulnerable, therefore his partner West will be less likely to enter the auction with length in a suit.

Therefore East needs to take note of the seven card suit he disdained when it becomes knowledge to him at trick seven when declarer ruffs a club back to hand *after ruffing a heart in dummy.

Then when declarer ruffs his missing heart in dummy (has 4 of them) the count is clear.

However, the above is relatively unimportant unless the remainder of the hand guarantees three diamonds with declarer because partner has enough room in his hand for only two diamonds.

This knowledge becomes “duck soup” but only valuable when East sees fit to basically and automatically keep up with the play. Naturally I can say that to do so is as easy as 1, 2, and 3, but unless that habit becomes done on every future defensive (and also as declarer) hand, one greatly reduces his chances of becoming formidable enough to not be taken as a grain of salt.

I mention the above, not to criticize anyone, but merely to state just how critical it always becomes to not count every hand when it is going on, and once learned, (in most cases) never forgotten. No time for day dreaming or not concentrating unless one really does not care for our great game the way he or she should.

Nothing more, but sadly, NOTHING LESS. Believe me, many more human minds can learn to do the above almost effortlessly, if iron discipline is applied.

Of course, the end result is East being able to duck the low diamond when led from dummy, knowing that declarer has precisely three of them, making it (excuse me) a slam dunk to do so. Of course, the reason for ducking becomes obvious (for every reason) or, at the very least, should. But that fact needs to also be learned, to which everyone on this site is well aware.

Finally, all a kibitzer needs to see is a defender (in this case, East) ducking the low diamond in tempo to know that he or she will always be a formidable opponent, but even if there is nothing but a small hitch before ducking, East will need to improve his concentration or suffer his way through mediocrity.