Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022


jim2August 16th, 2022 at 10:32 am

Two comments:

1) If declarer judges that West would never lead the JD from 3, then playing the 4D on the opening lead would certainly complicate the defense.

2) In BWTA, I would bid a calm 1D; never would I consider making a TO double. (Maybe I am just an old stick-in-the-mud [cup] )

Iain ClimieAugust 16th, 2022 at 12:47 pm

Hi Jim2, Bobby,

I think I’d probably double on BWTA but there is a danger that partner will strain to bid a major rather than diamonds. With 3-3-3-4 or 3-3-4-3 shape opposite and around a 6 or 7 count we might wind up in a very odd spot instead of a comfortable 5-3 or even 5-4 D fit.

I’m not so sure about ducking the D on the play hand though. With xxx K10xx J109 10xx I’m probably leading a diamond here although I might consider a spade as well.



bobbywolffAugust 16th, 2022 at 1:23 pm

Hi Jim2,

Maybe only two comments from you, but perhaps there should be three. And taking them in inverse order may work its way to the upside in value.

Comment #2 becomes a matter of style. Your partners will gain a security while choosing a four card major as responder even if at first blush the auction has gotten higher than expected, usually by a preemptive raise, effective, of course, by the vulnerability by your RHO in the opener’s initial suit. However, the conflicting problem is that your choice of an overcall first (instead of a TO double may well preclude partner from bidding a mediocre 5 card major for fear of a misfit.

FWIW, my choice is to bend this problem in favor of the latter above and widen choices of doubling first, only because I believe the partner of the TO doubler is more likely to have been dealt that 5 card major (and limited value) more often than 4 card majors inside more high cards, mainly because it is more likely with everyone bidding, that the partner of the doubler, is less likely to have much in high cards.

However, your choice of action has many supporters and is well meant to allow the partner of the doubler, license to waltz into the auction with only a 4 card major and limited values,
perhaps s. Jxxx, h. Axx, d. QJx, If so and RHO has either raised or jumped in his partner’s suit a repeat double by the original partner of the doubler would, of course, be taken as TO and allow the doubler to get safely out by now showing his diamonds. Not at all perfect, but perhaps the better percentage choice.

Now, returning to #1 with your comment: All well in good and right on in complicating the defense, but if the opening leader had picked out the J of diamonds while holding only three
and the squeeze nor anything happy develops in the play, your original diamond duck might be remembered next in court as a possible winning defense of Justifiable Homicide perpetrated by even an usually mild mannered and, of course, a now retired bridge player (at the age of 21).

Much worse than that result, would be our loss of your much desired presence, but that is, of course, a different story, but instead would shorten TOCM to TMI (too much imagination).

jim2August 16th, 2022 at 7:20 pm

Dear Host –

1)I did include the caveat “if declarer judges” — In my case, I know that TOCM ™ would guarantee either choice I made would be wrong.

2) Speaking of TOCM ™, in BWTA, my partner would always hold 2-3-3-5.

Iain ClimieAugust 17th, 2022 at 7:35 am

Hi Jim2,

On 2) above, partner only holds 2-3-3-5 if you double. If you bid 1D he’ll be 4-4-1-4 or even 4-4-0-5 or vaguely similar.

May the fleas of 1000 camels infest TOCMs armpits as a spoof Middle Eastern curse says.



jim2August 17th, 2022 at 11:35 am

Iain Climie –

Truth you speakest!

This realization has long affected my bidding and play. In this case, I know that:

1) pard is far less likely to blast off in response to an overcall than to a double,
2) I would (for partnership future prospects) far rather play 1D in a 5-1 than watch pard’s face as he plays 2H in a 3-3, and
3) if I later raise a major suit bid by pard, that my failure to double here will suggest to pard that I may not have 4.