Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thirsday, March 10th, 2022


Iain ClimieMarch 24th, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Hi Bobby,

As well as North’s flat shape, the extra values argue for biding 3N which may well be proof against a bad trump break scuppering 4S. If South held (say) SKxxx and East AJ9x, for example, 3N may well be easy but 4S will probably lose 3 trump tricks and at least one trick outside. It is naturally possible to construct hands where 3N is scuppered with 4S likely to make, of course. If South held CJ10x and West CAxxxx the natural lead of a small club will see the suit cleared and 3N would be off if West had an entry. I suspect they are less likely, though.



Steve ConradMarch 24th, 2022 at 1:12 pm

I love the new day, Thirsday. Does the portend an 8-day week, giving you a day of rest, finally? Or, perhaps, we will be gifted with an 8th column each week? Finally, will we get to see Thursday’s column later today?

bobbywolffMarch 24th, 2022 at 1:39 pm

Hi Iain,

Contract bridge rules (ethics, scoring, and procedures) evolved while bridge lore could be said to have done the same, but required and thus received, non-proven theories, but, in time, became highly respected.

While I certainly agree with you about balanced hands choosing NT instead of seeking out a 4-4 major suit fit, others rigidly disagree. My decision also includes obfuscation in the bidding (no Stayman) which then creates an opportunity for a more favorable lead, plus lesser early knowledge of declarer’s hand, which, at least to me, is more of a decided advantage than others suspect.

While example hands are often discussed, we all have biases which then tend to cancel out as what they try and prove, but like good food, the proof is in the individual eating preferences, not necessarily the special taste which more than often decides.

bobbywolffMarch 24th, 2022 at 2:04 pm

Hi Steve,

No telling what this week will bring, but with this war going on, at least to them, every violent week, will feel like a lifetime.

That beside, why, after gazing at what day it seems to be, do I seem to be attracted to quenching my thirst, hopefully for bridge knowledge, rather than a simple bodily need?

Will it be Bourbon or Scotch, coffee or tea, or only what it is, a simple enough “surrounding play”, to which a new player should be impressed with both its necessary employment and, of course, its effectiveness?

jim2March 24th, 2022 at 5:03 pm

Steve Conrad –

It may depend on whether or not tomorrow is “Furday.”

bobbywolffMarch 24th, 2022 at 10:46 pm

Hi Jim2,

Assuming it is, the women can show off their costly coats, especially for the animal.

Joe1March 25th, 2022 at 2:01 am

Maybe a few more examples of the surround play in a coming week’s lessons. Often times missed by average players. I looked it up again just now, simple, effective, but not intuitive.

bobbywolffMarch 25th, 2022 at 5:08 am

Hi Joe1,

No doubt, not intuitive.

About a couple of hundred years ago I remember my first exposure which turned out to be the classic example:

While holding AQ10 as West, with North
holding Kxx, partner East holding xxxx and South Jxx (the x’s can vary in number) then the Q from West, allowing partner (East) to lead back through the Jack, to scoop up two tricks in that suit.

However it seems to come up more often with the column combination of Q108 in front of the Jack. Only drawback is that when partner does not play partner for the queen, declarer playing low from dummy, when he holds the king and misses that opportunity. However, with experience, those combinations are almost never played incorrectly by either the defense or the declarer when he also guesses where the intermediate honors are located defensively and, of course, exercises them properly.

Finally, and from a bridge philosophy, playing it right by declarer will overcome the disadvantage of having to play first and third to a trick instead of the much more delightful, second and fourth, provided, of course, that declarer either knows where the defensive honors are located or, at the very least, highly suspects them to be.

In any case, good luck, with your newly discovered magic.