Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, May 26th, 2022


bobbywolffJune 9th, 2022 at 1:19 pm

Hi Everyone,

John Brown of England, the late and great British bridge author during the early 1940’s (writing perhaps the best informed bridge book ever, named “Winning Defence”) was no doubt correct, when he proclaimed that even a middle of the road bridge player would win every World Bridge Championship if his side always, when defending, got off to the best opening lead.

Today’s hand is clearly an example of why. if West felt less seduced by his jack of diamonds and instead started a heart.

Likely no one would criticize West for leading his much better suit combination, but just let it be said, “To the victor go the spoils”.

Iain ClimieJune 9th, 2022 at 1:39 pm

HI Bobby,

Suppose West leads a heart vs 3N. South wins, plays a spade to the 10 and East ducks (!). South plays a heart to hand, SA and repeats the S finesse and the roof promptly caves in as the defence can now play on the minor suits.

Just proves your point!

WEst might have doubled 3D I suppose (trying to tell himself what to lead although North might have been heading for somewhere other than 3N) but then North redoubles and South passes with painful results.



bobbywolffJune 9th, 2022 at 2:55 pm

Hi Iain,

Our main subject tends to prove the immense diversification within our beloved game itself.

Yes, certainly, there is a pronounced luck element involving a fairly large percentage of hands, which often decides the overall winner. However, there is also more, perhaps described as psychological tells, which
sometimes (often) lead a very competent (and do not ever forget experienced) player into knowingly risking an against percentage bid or play which, fortunately for him or her (and his sometimes critical partner), turning out well, leaving everyone affected, wondering whether that was just luck or, usually more likely, determined by the player as the winner, even though the percentage table would not agree.

Those above features tend , at least in my biased and hopeful opinion, to fairly represent what you and I, not so secretly feel, is the best mind game ever invented and by a not so close margin.

The above, of course, only represents the high-level game and not the one who many may even think is just another version of “high card wins”, except for, of course, the unimportant and impossible time spent to guess at what should be, the final contract.

Strong endorsement to follow!