Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, April 5th, 2022


Iain ClimieApril 19th, 2022 at 2:10 pm

Hi Bobby,

Is 4S that much better than 3N today on the main hand, though, unless the S finesse works and always assuming spades behave not too badly? West kicks off with a diamond, declarer wins, cashes 2H shedding a diamond, then runs the S10. West ducks with SKxxx (or even Kx bravely but correctly), the finesse is repeated and West feeds declarer diamonds. Now you still need the clubs to come in without loss.

You probably go fewer off to be fair if / when things fail.



A V Ramana RaoApril 19th, 2022 at 2:30 pm

Hi lain
Four spades is foolproof as long as clubs break irrespective of who holds Q. Declarer wins the diamond lead, pitches diamond on heart, and plays two rounds of clubs. If Q falls, he shifts to spades else continues clubs, ruffs diamond return, ruffs a winning club ! with ten of spades and leads spades. If the club gets overruffed, he gets five spades, two clubs, two hearts and a diamond. If it wins and even if south loses a spade, he gets four spades, two hearts, one diamond, two clubs and a club ruff
As may be noted, as the cards lay , six clubs makes and five is cold even with a club loser.
And kudos to Gitelman for finding the correct play in three NT

bobbywolffApril 19th, 2022 at 3:24 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, I believe 4 spades appears to be significantly a better game contract, than is 3NT.

First, while playing NT a diamond lead (because of the bidding and the number of diamonds at large in the hands of the defense, which in turn will be almost a sure set if the club queen does not fall early and/or the spade finesse loses.

Of course, there is almost always being unaware of those exact conditions during the bidding, making the key decision, North’s spade preference with only 10x. When and if, North chooses 3 diamonds as his rebid, (after an original pass) it can be construed by his partner he holds less than a doubleton spade.

Of course, different systems, especially my favorite of 4 card majors, would normally have no such two card preferences for a major suit opening, which then would emphasize very different theories in the bidding.

“You pays your money, you takes your choices” is a familiar refrain when overall systems are either discussed or certainly when they are set in stone.

Thanks for always presenting your views so that others, may join in.

Iain ClimieApril 19th, 2022 at 4:03 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

Thanks to you both for that.


bobbywolffApril 19th, 2022 at 6:21 pm


Always thanks for your more or less complete analysis, which usually satisfies
any left over questions or other controversial endings.