Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, August 18th, 2022


bobbywolffSeptember 1st, 2022 at 2:37 pm

Hi Everyone,

At least, up to now, this declarer masterpiece by Margi has been perhaps her greatest
show of declarer bridge skill (that we have presented) since, she had to read the defenders minds with primarily their discards on her winning clubs and the pace (and possible emotion) they chose to do it.

Yes, at least to me, and especially declarer play, this likely innate talent, might be the most distinguishing ploy, when, and if, that factor is ever brought up for discussion.

A possible sub-title to the above could be simply, “Play along with Margi”.

Also it is a good thing to also realize that the better the defenders are, especially with their experience, the more difficult it is, of course, to determine.

However and likely, of course, others might disagree on what to judge.

Iain ClimieSeptember 1st, 2022 at 2:59 pm

Hi Bobby,

Perhaps it is worth thinking about what East knows and hence should or shouldn’t get right. South has SA or SK but not both when declarer has 9 top tricks. If declarer has DAK then the defence again has no hope so 1 diamond is an easy discard but two could be disastrous if declarer has DK10x(x). If declarer doesn’t have the HA then he must have DAK or SAK and 9 tricks so assume he does, and (obviously) doesn’t have the DA or again there are 9 tricks. Hence the only hope of beating the contract is for declarer to have DK, HA and SK to go with the CJ. Thus East must keep 2D, at least 2S so can ditch 2H, 1D, 1S.

Does that seem reasonable, at least at IMPs / rubber bridge? Easy away form the table when 6C tricks aren’t being dropped on me forcing 4 discards and there is pressure to get the hand played of course.



bobbywolffSeptember 1st, 2022 at 3:22 pm

Hi Iain,

Be back in 1 hour (or so) to answer, giving me time to both do my chores and, more importantly, to attempt to correctly analyze.

bobbywolffSeptember 1st, 2022 at 4:46 pm

Hi Iain,

The hour went by quicker than expected so here I am.

Your reasoning, not surprisingly, was on the money (especially if playing rubber bridge).
Additionally, it covered the bridge waterfront with the likely individual thinking of the three live
players participating. All well and good!

We took editorial license when we suggested West giving a positive diamond signal, especially with him or her holding specifically the ten and three but instead the “feeling at the table by declarer, perhaps because East discarded a negative diamond holding, resulting in declarer’s brain”

The practical knowledge from the current discussion only suggests that the so-called card
reading skills of a specific player, (offense or defense) must always take into account the hidden talents of their opponents and how they are both trying to help partner or fool declarer, as the case might be.

However one wants to feel about such thoughts is up to him or her, but for my money and teaching, that particular and individual talent is the determining factor in just how good any hopeful player (male or female) can achieve.

An equal deciding factor of this discussion concerns itself with the hypocrisy of even considering “matchpoints” to be even close to the much purer games of both “rubber bridge”
and IMPs” where overtricks become so ridiculously important with absolutely very little skill available to invariably determine turning our magnificent mind game (at least on the too many hands it effects) into a coin flipping mediocre exercise.

Thanks for your well thought out informative discussion as well as taking the time to also mention what I attempted to emphasize.