Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022


Iain ClimieAugust 17th, 2022 at 9:17 am

HI Bobby,

If South has DKQ9x, West can still probably give the D shift a chance by leading the DJ. In theory, South can now pick up the diamonds for no loser now by finessing the 9 but is he ever likely to do that? West has to find it reasonably quickly though or an alert declarer may work out what is happening.



Shantanu RastogiAugust 17th, 2022 at 11:47 am

Hello Bobby Sir

6H is cold. When South shows 4-4 in H & D North can bid 6 H as short trump cards can take D ruff.


Shantanu Rastogi

jim2August 17th, 2022 at 12:00 pm

I sat East at the Slush Cup four or five years ago when this deal was first dealt. I thought I might actually get a good board because the N-S pair blundered about bidding and cue bidding all four suits (and even raising each other’s cues).

They ended up at 6 and no one at the Slush Cup was capable of the squeeze outlined in the text.

But, of course, when my N-S opponents finally stopped pulling out bid cards from their boxes (more from wrist strain than science) the last one showing on the table was 6H.

So it was simply another bottom for me.

Iain ClimieAugust 17th, 2022 at 1:09 pm

Hi Jim2,

In the UK, there was an early version of M & Ms (chocolate inside, candy outside) called “Treets” with the advertising slogan – Treets melt in your mouth not in your hand. The joke was “He’s so unlucky that Treets melt in his hand…” There again, remember “lucky at cards, unlucky in love”. if the converse applies, you really must be counting your blessings at home.



bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2022 at 1:17 pm

Hi Iain,

While, as West, you pressed magic (or in reality would have played) the winning suit when in with your club 10, your partner did you proud by holding the Q10 diamond combination.

However, perhaps on another day, the diamond jack switch might just have been too dangerous enabling declarer to take 12 tricks, but as the hand relates, a diamond switch was required, but not necessarily the knave.

Only proving that your instincts are usually right on, and after all, the proof is in the results, not always the rhetoric.

Iain ClimieAugust 17th, 2022 at 1:24 pm

Hi Bobby, Jim2,

Just a further thought – suppose NS wind up in 6S (!) and get (say) a trump lead. Cash two trumps. D to Ace, cash SQ shedding club 9. 4 rounds of hearts stand up, so do 2C and the DK before a diamond allows North to make the 6 en passant with the Club loser and winning trump colliding at T13. 4 trumps, 4H, 2C, 2D – easy game!


bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Hi Shantanu,

Much thanks for pointing that out, and on the specific bidding, North might
have envisioned the winning slam suit, particularly so since he held what turned out to be the mighty jack of hearts.

Great analysts should always be in demand and pity you were not North in today’s scenario. Obviously, there are hands South might hold that would produce 12 tricks in NT, but not hearts. However to “sniff” out a reason to play the seven card suit slam rather than the usually preferred NT contract is indeed the stuff that only champions may produce.

Finally, I’ll speak for all of us in wanting to hear from you more often.

bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2022 at 1:52 pm

Hi again Iain,

Right on!

And since this old world may one day become one which favors specialists, not humdrum overall balanced experts.

If so, you have definitely found your significant place becoming known as the greatest of all declarers, but somewhat lacking during the bidding process.

No doubt, all those players who wind up declaring a small slam with spades as trump, will desperately need your expertise to survive, as long as you, like Jimminy Cricket, performed for Pinnochio.

bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2022 at 2:00 pm

Hi Jim2,

Your luck could have been worse, having the opponents bid and make 6 spades, carelessly doubled by your partner.

Also, a believer of the Law of Averages might predict you may have saved your best for when you arrive in Heaven and test out your bridge. Your sweetest dreams figure to see you through to the very top of the list!

jim2August 17th, 2022 at 2:37 pm

I am told that in Heaven, suits sometimes even break 3-3!

I am, nonetheless, in no hurry to obtain relevant personal empirical data …

bobbywolffAugust 17th, 2022 at 3:17 pm

Hi Jim2,

Only when you don’t bid that 36% game. Bridge is not for sissy’s!

We, in the fires and smoke of the kitchen, have to also eat.