Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, April 23rd, 2022


A V Ramana RaoMay 7th, 2022 at 10:16 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Cohen could have made it perhaps if after ruffing third heart, he did not draw two rounds of trumps.He can afford to play A but not second round. Since lead marked west with K of spades and also since the lead was three and since south had deuce of spades, he can infer that east has three spades and it is safe to ruff third spade in dummy. So, after ruffing third heart, A of spade, spade ruff, heart. If east follows, south ruffs with ten and hopes west is not dealt club J. But east follows. South ruffs with ten, and leads diamonds. West ruffs second one but declarer is through
And another line is : even as it happened, west had singleton diamond and since declarer proceeded to ruff a heart without drawing trumps, it is probable that West could have overruffed heart. Perhaps two rounds of trumps i e. A and K must be played. If both follow, declarer can try to ruff third round of heart with ten but today east shows out. Declarer finesse in hearts, cash K and try to reach dummy with diamond ruff. West ruffs second diamond but is stuck. If he returns spade or heart, dummy’s heart loser goes away so perforce he returns trump. But dummy wins and plays two more trumps catching west in major suit squeeze.
And doubledummy, declarer can make all thirteen tricks by ruffing third heart with ten, picking up trumps and ruffing third diamond catching west in major suit squeeze or simply finessing first round in hearts and squeezing west

Iain ClimieMay 7th, 2022 at 11:19 am

Hi Bobby,

Poor west has a horrible choice of leads at T1; they all cost a trick, a tempo or both. A diamond may seem the least damaging but not if declared reads it as Q9xxx or Jxxx would clearly be avoided.



bobbywolffMay 7th, 2022 at 2:42 pm


Thanks for seemingly doing the sometimes thankless and often endlessly detailed bridge analysis, while trying to avoid unnecessary criticism amid expertly guessing what to do next.

No doubt Churchill’s quote, although undoubtedly having to do with England’s felt plight during the early stages of World War II, might also apply to today’s selected bridge hand.

Both fierce conflicts, with at least, slightly different involved stakes, but nevertheless, while occurring, possibly feeling close to the same.

All serious bridge aficionados, I included, will always appreciate and, of course give thanks for your effort doing the whys and wheres, sparing them much of the tedious time spent, at least intending to do so on their own, and also assuming they have the sophisticated bridge capability to so do.

bobbywolffMay 7th, 2022 at 2:50 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, you nailed one of the hyper interesting facets of a slam hand to which the opening leader had his choice of four different suits to lead, with all of them being bad enough to give the declarer a clear path for success.

Perhaps the singleton diamond may work the best for the defense, especially if 3rd chair had enough inspiration to follow with the queen, rather than the knave.