Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, May 27th, 2022


Iain ClimieJune 10th, 2022 at 9:16 am

HI Bobby,

Purely double dummy but does the HJ at T1 beat the contract, potentially giving East two entries to lead diamonds through? If North covers, East wins, leads the D8 through and gets a ruff. If South tries ducking in both hands at T1, then a H to the Ace and a diamond through also gives 2 diamond winners and a ruff.

One for Julian Pottage’s “Play or Defend” perhaps?



A V Ramana RaoJune 10th, 2022 at 11:56 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps east should duck heart K dropping ten. From South’s point of view, west could be 2452 and hold both A J of hearts . That would be in tune with the bidding as east did not bid over one diamond from partner but bid at two level over one NT meaning that he has only spades and nothing else. ( Personally, I feel that east could have bid one spade . Even if EW competes with three spades, defense needs to be on toes else east makes) So he may lead heart Q from hand pinning the assumed doubleton nine in east hand and now west must be alert and get rid of J. East wins A , pushes a diamond, west wins, leads heart and a further diamond from east sinks the contract. This defense works because declarer doesn’t have an entry to dummy else he can cross to dummy and lead heart prevailing. Just swap that ten/nine of clubs with a lower one from dummy and declarer is through.

A V Ramana RaoJune 10th, 2022 at 12:00 pm

Hi lain
Column line covers your point. If west initially leads heart J, dummy doesn’t cover and declarer has easy time

jim2June 10th, 2022 at 12:14 pm

On BWTA, my partners do tend to have a sense of humor, but I endeavor not to unduly test them. I suspect they would regard the absence of 4-card support for either major without extra values to be such a test. A hand that reaches a mere 12 HCPs — and does so only by including a doubleton queen in the opponent’s suit — would likely not meet their expectations of “extra values.”

A V Ramana RaoJune 10th, 2022 at 12:51 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Please ignore my earlier post. Declarer can lead heart from dummy once K holds. I hand a blind spot and the post got jumbled up and doesn’t make sense. Perhaps we should have an edit provision. Sorry

Iain ClimieJune 10th, 2022 at 1:05 pm


Are you sure about things after HJ lead at T1 which I admit is double dummy. South wins (or East takes HK with Ace, diamond through gets DJ, DA and a ruff) and must draw trumps then cash spades and duck a heart. East wins H!0 leads a diamond through, now another heart to East’s Ace and a second diamond give the defence 5 tricks I think.

I may be posting a little more in the next 2 to 3 weeks as my foot is in plaster at present. That’ll teach me to use a torch walking along a country lane in the dark next time and thinking I knew where I was – not quite!



bobbywolffJune 10th, 2022 at 1:22 pm

Hi Iain,

Since you answered your own query correctly (not surprising) you certainly do not need a comment from me, except to be happy you answered it for others, who are interested enough to care.

As for Julian Pottage’s book, although sadly I have not read it, perhaps the accent should shift from “play or defend” to “1st” and “3rd” being markedly inferior to “2nd” and “4th”.

A constant factor on perhaps a huge percentage of all hands dealt, while attempting to play our game to best advantage.

bobbywolffJune 10th, 2022 at 1:44 pm


Yes to much, if not all, you have said, and to add to today’s daily quote defining “patron”.

To not bid one spade the first time around might, at least while attempting to play bridge, fit well within Samuel Johnson’s belittling slap at being a patron. Reason being, could easily be depriving partner of a vibrant major suit contract later in the bidding, if and when it may be too late in the then advanced level to enter, depriving his partnership of being ultra tough, hard to beat, aggressive competitors.

Also famous writer’s are entitled to examples, approving their opinions.

bobbywolffJune 10th, 2022 at 1:59 pm

Hi Jim2,

Agree with you choosing to only overcall one diamond, instead of making an odious takeout double with that minimum 3-3-5-2 collection with today’s BWTA.

Besides the obvious lead advantage gained, it would take an extra major suit card replacing one of the clubs for me to even consider a TO Dbl and only then, for fear of missing an eight card major suit fit, when, and somewhat expected, for challenging opponents to significantly raise the level before it is my next turn to speak.

Only experience to rely on, but definitely feeling the need.

bobbywolffJune 10th, 2022 at 2:17 pm

Hi again Iain,

And on the subject of merely walking with either a “torch” or “cane” your accident is well noted.

Not really knowing enough about old age is a real learning experience (slightly different than the road to bridge playing improvement).

Yes, a cane helps, sadly in my case has become necessary, but if it was a torch instead, I am quite sure, by now, I would be”burned up about it”.

Feel thankful, that you’ll have to turn, in the immediate future, to your favorite hobby in order to stay vibrant.

The result could have been much worse, and, if so, think of all your acquired fast friends who will feel benefited by your accident.

It’s a cruel world which doesn’t benefit somebody or something, regardless of whether the cause was painful or not.

A V Ramana RaoJune 10th, 2022 at 3:54 pm

Hi lain
Perhaps I am too groggy today which explains everything.
And while we welcome more posts from you ( sure our host approves), we also wish you to get well soon

Iain ClimieJune 10th, 2022 at 4:08 pm


Thanks for the kind thought, although the injury was basically self-inflicted and careless. I’ll be more careful next time although I’m not going very far at all at the moment! The good news is that I can Work From Home which I don’t enjoy but will save me travel and accommodation costs, so it could be worse. As I love swimming, going to the gym, walking in the nearby countryside and even the occasional jog, that will act as a painful reminder to watch where I put my feet. The nurse at the Accident & Emergency ward did try to cheer me up by saying she’d done something similar in broad daylight in a field a few years ago, breaking her leg in 4 places. It could be a lot worse.