Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 11th, 2022


Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2022 at 9:09 am

Hi Bobby,

I know it is easy seeing all 4 hands but West could also have just risen with the DA when South led a diamond towards the Q10x. After all, if South has DKJxx or J9xx he’d have played the suit earlier and he is highly unlikely to have DKxxxx or he might again have attacked diamonds earlier, perhaps playing a D to the K at T3 or even leading the DQ then. He certainly won’t have DK9xx(x ).


Iain Climie

Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2022 at 9:47 am

Hi again,

A couple of further points here. Would a switch to the HJ by West (not a small one given the pips) instead of the passive spade have helped? Also, South can be placed with SAxx and the CA10 from an early stage. Given that he hasn’t played on diamonds, he almost certainly has HK so basically East has DKJ unless South has improbably passed a 12 count. Hence West was being very lazy here.



Michael BeyroutiAugust 25th, 2022 at 12:46 pm

please put a “Like” button underneath your comment so I can click on it.

Iain ClimieAugust 25th, 2022 at 1:08 pm

Thanks Michael, very kind although then we’d be heading towards Facebook and other social media. Given the tendency of gremlins attacking the column on Mondays, is this such a good idea though?


bobbywolffAugust 25th, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Hi Iain & Michael,

Thanks to Iain for his various intelligent advice and to Michael for his approval.

At least to me, two types of bridge learning burst forward: 1. To make 9 tricks in NT, there needs to usually be either 26 hcps available or a crucial 5 card suit, enabling the ninth trick (either immediately or possibly eventual).

Today’s hand is a good example of the above, and yes, of course, a declarer, by clearly seeing his 26 assets, is much better placed than the defense
to pick a hopeful line of play, the odds, at least IMO will favor the defense to win the final result.

However, we can all see that rising with the ace of diamonds (especially early enough in the play) is not a play many will make, but because of what is known to be (West knowing, basically at trick two when East returns his small one, the full club position) a then pause by him, might allow his rising with the diamond ace (for the right reason) when declarer then attacked that suit.

However, I’m sort of dreaming when I suggest such a thing, mainly because even super star players will likely not be able to think that thoroughly so hats to be off for anyone that quick witted to (if you will excuse) rise to the occasion.

In any event, we, as both declarer and defender, have jousted through hands such as these with, of course mixed results, but perhaps North should have passed his partner’s belated jump to 2NT, thinking he would have opened a decent 12 hcp hand instead of passing.

Sure, playing results, although in retrospect NS would normally go down
instead of making, but OTOH hooray to the victor, who won the flawed battle.