Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, June 8th, 2022


Iain ClimieJune 22nd, 2022 at 3:12 pm

HI Bobby,

5-1 spades would be 15% with Q alone 1/6 of the time giving 2.5%. The D misbehaviour (6-1) is long odds against too but becomes a little more likely with spades 5-1. Still, it is a chance to nothing.



A V Ramana RaoJune 22nd, 2022 at 5:26 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
When spade Q appears, perhaps south can also reverse dummy. He comfortably ruffs a spade and a diamond in hand making dummy high

bobbywolffJune 22nd, 2022 at 5:46 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, as one might expect, those long odds against unusual holdings such as a singleton Q with 6 of that suit out, do not usually occur, especially in the heat of actual battle at the bridge table. However, when bridge writers sit down to compose an exciting bridge column, the odds then go from your aforementioned 2+% to, if necessary, a reality.

And, if anyone dares to suppose that heralded players deftly follow exact percentages, they will likely learn NOT.

Why? Simply because it is just too thought consuming to match up with other lines and face the math of comparing various details of play wherein there need be so many other factors, ie, other card combinations, tempo of the opponents, play up to then, and the greatest reason of all, unfair time consumption on what usually becomes a very close, therefore somewhat irrelevant exercise in frustration.

Not to take anything away from the talent and winning records of the world’s multiple great players, only to acquaint the reader with “close is more than good enough” and to expect more from others or, more in point, yourself, is nothing more than ridiculous.

The lion’s share of the time spent, should be
used with making sure no necessary play is overlooked on the way to giving oneself what is thought (by you) as approximately a better way to go about this specific hand, follow through, exercise the necessary plays and proceed to the hoped for result.


bobbywolffJune 22nd, 2022 at 5:54 pm


Yes, and your post is a good example of what I was trying to suggest. When the queen of spades magically appears, his problems basically melt into thin air, allowing him the pleasure of successful declarer’s play.

I had not seen your post until I had completed mine to Iain.