Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, April 1st, 2022


jim2April 15th, 2022 at 11:56 am

South knows West opened the bidding. Even positing West with both missing club honors means he still needs at least one heart honor, given East’s two raises.

Thus, West will always win the next defensive trick and be on lead. It therefore seems to me that winning the QC with the AC cannot gain and can only lose.

bobbywolffApril 15th, 2022 at 12:50 pm

Hi Jim2,

From a declarer’s pitch I agree 100%, basically leaving the West defender with only the hoped for either partner possessing the J10 of clubs or, and of course, the declarer taking an errant view.

Luck was not in for EW with the first view, but scored it up when declarer fell for how you described, a play which couldn’t gain.

Furthermore, it brings to light a defensive enigma of knowing what the defensive chances have become (in this case it should be figured correctly), but not giving up hope that either his side can get lucky (partner having the club jack ten, or that the declarer fails to correctly analyze what needs to be done.

Wrong with the legitimate holding, but right as could be with declarer’s inexperienced gaffe.

Final question or I probably should simply ask, should declarer use Terence Reese’s Restricted Choice concept and my answer would be, that in this case and definitely “No, he need not” since to do so is to go far afield to use it when it certainly does not, in this special case, even begin to apply, simply because a “sharp declarer” should know that a small club instead can not be the right play so that whichever club honor West showed was hopefully his only one.

Finally, perhaps this special situation should have always been mentioned while discussing the virtue of the “Restricted Choice” concept. If so, from now on we can call it “The Jim2 twist”.