Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, April 13th, 2022


Iain ClimieApril 27th, 2022 at 12:03 pm

Hi Bobby,

To allow South to finesse the against the H9 late on in the first room, was declarer careful with his heart pips and retained the 2? If he had to run the H8, he is still in hand although the play comes to the same thing after a club towards the Queen and it doesn’t help West to win and play his last D. I’m surprised East didn’t bid 1S given modern tendencies, although perhaps the suit isn’t up to it. KQ10xx and I’m in there though.



bobbywolffApril 27th, 2022 at 1:27 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes this hand, at least IMO, requires the more or less, guessing of the location of key cards and the overall distribution rather than simply following, undiluted percentage type talent.

The winner took all right views and the loser the opposite. A key factor involving the declarer, is being at the table, sizing up the psychology of the individual defenders and then successfully guessing why they made the plays they did and the tempo in which they did so.

Likely little more or less, but, and of course, arriving at opposite results on close hands, not an unlikely occurrence.

In my opinion and if asked if there was one factor more important than others, I think that experience of play, and, if any, plus the knowledge gleaned of having played against those individual players, may be the most important single intangible reason for success or failure.

Sure, player’s luck kicks in, but that prior experience requires total concentration at the table, a common condition for getting the job done, without which, the loser will tend to feel more unlucky than he or she really was.

Some, but not others, have trained themselves to thoroughly give themselves the better opportunity, and likely if they are asked how and why, they wouldn’t be able to explain the entering of their opponent’s thought process.

Whether to overcall one spade or not with the East hand is indeed a close decision, and IMO has much to do with weighing the advantage of seeking the right lead from your OX, as opposed to the dangers of getting into a vulnerable auction with so little of value, also keeping in mind, what might happen if on the next round of the auction, partner expects much more from you and also aggressively supports, to which the opponents guess correctly, double and make your partnership suffer.

Jeff SApril 27th, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Hi Bobby,

In the main hand, can’t West overtrump the spade? The hand still makes, but after West exits with his last heart, it looks like N-S are limited to 10 tricks. with the usual caveat that I might be missing something.

bobbywolffApril 27th, 2022 at 7:51 pm

Hi Jeff S,

No, we were missing something in claiming 11 tricks instead of 10.

Thanks for righting the wrong and while attempting to point out the advantage of ruffing the third diamond (from dummy) early, instead of later, we got lost on what you so keenly pointed out.

When we use this hand again in 2122 we will interchange South’s 8 of hearts with West’s 9 which will allow declarer to ruff the third spade with the 9 and still finesse the next heart through West for the overtrick.