Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 8th, 2022


A V Ramana RaoMarch 22nd, 2022 at 11:57 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
While East’s preempt is swashbuckling, perhaps NS might go overboard with seven diamonds without the preempt. Deals like this certainly decide matches.
And in six NT, as the cards lay, perhaps south could have tried. As the contract is a claim if diamonds break, south plays diamonds first. East shows out on second round but south cashes three top diamonds and four spades anyway pitching diamond from dummy to reach five card position. East must be on his toes and must have discarded clubs and retain three hearts and two clubs. Had he carelessly discarded even one heart, declarer ducks club and west is hopelessly squeezed in red suits. But how many Easts would rise to the occasion ?
And of course if west’s low hearts are swapped with East’s eight and nine, declarer might as well duck the lead for making but he cannot be sure and again, east must guard hearts in the ending

bobbywolffMarch 22nd, 2022 at 1:28 pm


Thanks for your always keen analysis.

Yes, and no doubt, especially at a high level. this type of hand, whether bid to 6NT or 7 diamonds will, with adequate defense, fail, when merely stopping at game or the pedestrian bidding and making 6 diamonds will (somewhat unjustly)l win both the contract and thus the day and perhaps the match.

Call it fate or call it luck, but when doing, give credit to East who started the auction off with a space taking “somewhat wild” preempt, which and no doubt, took away valuable and needed, bidding space from NS.

A pundit can argue back and forth what should have happened, but the result obtained should be the main criteria and, on another day if not preempting, helping allow NS to reach a percentage grand slam in diamonds, making on a 3-2 split as against the other NS pair not reaching it, then luck would have little to do with it, but instead, pure bidding acumen would have prevailed.

Thanks for your very useful role, which allows others to confidently understand not only what should, but what did and, more importantly, why.

Finally, as often happens, what should have been bid was not, and although it becomes confusing when trying to assess the blame, the factors involved, as usual, are worth noting.

If for no other reason, than to give the up and coming bridge expert what to expect and what is needed to allow his partnership to rise to his expectations.

Iain ClimieMarch 22nd, 2022 at 5:51 pm

HI Bobby,

We all (quite sensibly) play X for TO over pre-empts nowadays but imagine NS used the big stick for its original purpose. 3 spades, 2 hearts, 1 heart ruff, 1 D and 2C against a non-making slam would seem to be poetic justice and punishment for those (like myself) who would open 3C as East. Ouch as NS make 3C!



bobbywolffMarch 23rd, 2022 at 6:43 pm

Hi Iain,

Ouch and quadrupal ouch to now equal the number of comments.