Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, July 20th, 2022


Iain ClimieAugust 3rd, 2022 at 9:08 am

HI Bobby,

Can we blame East for not doubling 4C here for the lead? It might not be optimal of course but NS are going to play in H regardless so there is limited risk of a redouble although it could help declarer in the play. Can’t argue with success though.



jim2August 3rd, 2022 at 11:21 am

In BWTA, I would always bid 2H because all my partnerships play Flannery. IIRC, BWTA does not, making this a somewhat closer call.

Iain ClimieAugust 3rd, 2022 at 11:34 am

Hi Jim2, Bobby,

On BWTA it is naturally possible to construct hands where raising hearts, bidding spades or both may misfire e.g. partner holds K10x Q8xxx AK AJx and there is a spade ruff in H or a H ruff in spades (or H are 4-1) and 3N romps home. Mind you, that hand above should open 1N but trying to avoid 4S would be the problem then.

At the risk of sounding like HH, yet another hand where 9 tricks are easier than 10, especially seeing both hands!



Iain ClimieAugust 3rd, 2022 at 1:11 pm

And, TBF, if you find a way of avoiding the siren calls of the 5-3 fit and head for 3N, partner will have A10x K109xx KQ Axx with diamonds not being 4-4 and majors not being friendly enough e.g. SKx onside.

Are there other bridge equivalents of (bad) karma by the way, apart from TOCM?

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2022 at 1:37 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes and No when talking about success, since with realism NS succeeded.

Likely the very reason NS triumphed was there moving the shortness indication to a suit, the defenders may not double, simply because of the possibility of running into a very unusual making redouble, especially when slam was not on but the side suit fit doubled at the four level was.

Only suggesting that if one plays enough bridge, and all of us would love to, almost everything will eventually occur.

However, in spite of that, YES, I do think East should double 4 clubs for the lead.

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2022 at 1:47 pm

Hi Jim2,

Yes, one of my absolute favorite conventions is Flannery and likely always will be.

However, even if not, anytime a player is dealt an easy to bid response, almost perfect in values and suit (playing 5 card majors) do not look that gift horse any further but just do it.

Luck varies, including my above response, but if hoping for it not to, switch to casino betting, rather than bridge, in order to prefer getting rich rather than win bridge tournaments.

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2022 at 1:57 pm

Hi again Iain,

Yes and no doubt both of us agree that nine tricks are usually easier to score up than ten.

Also bad karma (if you will) is usually accompanied (at least IMO) with a combination of happenstance and (drumbeat) overthinking.

Just stay in the relatively area of reasonable, without overreaching, and good things may and will happen except, of course, with partners who are ready to cast you off and make that decision way too soon (or, at least, so it seems).

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2022 at 2:05 pm

Hi still again, Iain,

No doubt Jim2’s patented TOCM has to be always somewhere and like the world pandemic, very contagious.

However contending to consistency and forgetting brilliance may (except, of course for our beloved Jim2) be the perfect antidote to, at the very least, avoid the ravages of it.

A V Ramana RaoAugust 3rd, 2022 at 2:32 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps the hand is unbeatable on the lead of spade. If south sees a little ahead, he should win the lead, lead to diamond A, pitch club on spade K, ruff spade and lead club ( not lead club without ruffing spade). East wins but his diamond return would only help south in reducing trumps. He ruffs in dummy, ruffs club, east following, ruffs diamond, ruffs another club , ruffs last diamond with K and leads club for the coup.
A trap infact an innocuous one would be to ruff diamond after ruffing spade before leading club. Now the contract doesn’t have any chance as east wins and returns diamond. South falls short of one entry for reducing trumps and east wins heart J by force.
However an initial club lead would always defeat the contract

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2022 at 6:58 pm


Very instructive for ambitious students of the game, who then begin to understand how important both the timing of the hand and the eventual favorable ending to where the desired result lies.

Not always enjoyable, but likely necessary to
improve, usually after first understanding why it worked.