Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, August 14th, 2022


Iain ClimieAugust 28th, 2022 at 11:54 am

Hi Bobby,

With the D preempt are there any circumstances (e.g. needing a swing) where you’d either sandbag by passing initially then coming in later or hoping the oppo will reach a seemingly good contract (e.g. 6H or 6S) which goes off due to an unexpected D ruff when (say) 6N might make.



clarksburgAugust 28th, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Good morning Bobby
Matchpoints, neither VUL
LHO opens a weak 2S
You hold KJ98 AK KQ74 K95
Is natural 2NT the right call? If so, what is minimum strength for that call? If not 2NT, then what?
Partner holds A 10962 A932 Q876. What is the right call with this hand over 2NT?

Iain ClimieAugust 28th, 2022 at 2:50 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

FWIW I’d just bash 3N with that lot and hope partner had a few cards. I play 2N in direct position as around 15-18 but (with some partners) slightly weaker in 4th. If partner had found a sporting double of 2S with the hand you quote (pushy to say the least) , I might leave it in and take the money.



bobbywolffAugust 28th, 2022 at 3:00 pm

Hi Iain,

At least to me, the hand given, and with the vulnerability favorable, is almost the perfect description of what a 4 level preempt in a minor suit should look like, especially the eighth
diamond and the 3-1-1 side distribution, which to me is worth perhaps a 1/2 extra trick (on
average) and as declarer, rather than the lesser 2-2-1.

“Walking the dog”, the expression widely used for trying to fool the opponents at bridge, seems to work much better by simply taking away their bidding space
rather than the poker strategy you mentioned.

However, far be it from me to be telling you, how to best fool other bridge players, since knowing who you are playing against seems to be worth far more than 50% in deciding.

bobbywolffAugust 28th, 2022 at 3:29 pm

Hi Clarksburg & Iain,

I agree with Iain to bid 3NT instead of only two, simply because the hand given is just too
strong, especially so, when in the balancing (fourth) seat, where it could be tempting to bid 2NT with s. AQ, h. xxx, d. AKQxx, c. xxx.

No doubt bridge bidding seems to have many wide ranges, forcing both experience and practicality to be wisely used, with this bidding test a good example.

Once 2NT is bid by partner (in 4th seat) perhaps 3S could be the choice for his partner, but if so he is only suggesting perhaps a suit contract which I might be inclined to bid, but only with a sound bidder, otherwise since the ace is both singleton and in the opponents suit it does
not auger well for a slam. so perhaps a slight underbid of 3NT may be the right choice since partner also has strength in spades, lessening the chance for a perfect fit.

However over a 3NT balance I’d be tempted to bid either 4NT (merely a raise) or 4 spades, giving a very strong partner’s hand a chance for going forward. I then. being the 3NT bidder, would then pass 4NT and probably bid only 4NT over partner’s 4 spade cue bid, since my spade values diminish.

No doubt these are the type hands which decide important bridge matches, and good judgment is needed, plus, of course, as well as being kind to partner should one of us
be making the wrong bid. Especially so, if he is bigger and stronger and in a bad mood.

clarksburgAugust 28th, 2022 at 4:28 pm

Thanks to both.
Unfortunately I made a posting error; it was RHO, not LHO, who opened 2S.
So the big hand was in direct seat, not fourth seat.
Now, to confess, I overcalled 2NT and Partner called 3C.
In this auction context, the only meaning I could see for 3C was “weak with club length but no potential entry”.
So I passed 3C! Not our finest hour! But no anger.

bobbywolffAugust 28th, 2022 at 5:05 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

No problem with either the direction, bridge or the behavior.

Instead, by using bridge sign language, he (or she) must have either not have been bigger, stronger or in a bad mood.

Also perhaps your partner scrounged up nine plus tricks for a make, while the majority of the field went down in slam.

Nothing really wrong in getting lucky.