Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, September 9th, 2022


Iain ClimieSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 9:26 am

Hi Bobby,

I take your point but, as the cards lie, does it make any difference if South cashes 1 or even 2 top spades before playing the D? One is clearly harmless but suppose he cashes two and plays a diamond. East wins, punches South again but South then goes back to the column line cashing one club and bashing out diamonds.

Is it better though (e.g. in the column line or if South cashes SAK early) for East to duck the Diamonds, when West can ruff the 3rd diamond high and exit with a trump. Now what happens? I think in that case declarer has to keep two high clubs as re-entries to establish and use the long diamond.

I suspect things work out the same in the end though and it is a worthwhile lesson in any event.



A V Ramana RaoSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 10:38 am

Hi lain
Permit me : the contract would fail just in case west unexpectedly turns up with diamond A. Perhaps less probable but one never knows
Also the hand is interesting as south must cas precisely one club after spade A and K. If he cashes both, west can ruff third diamond high and return heart. South ruffs but west ruffs fourth diamond and declarer must lose another trick. And if he starts diamonds without cashing a club, west discards his clubs and defense must make a fourth trick
Hope our host approves

Bobby WolffSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 11:35 am

Hi Iain,

Thanks for your views, since between them and the column line itself, it should become a positive learning experience of how-to time and execute somewhat high-level declarer technique, especially against at least a working knowledge of what to expect defensive holdings to be, as represented by the bidding.

Bobby WolffSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 11:59 am


Yes, you might have close to a perfect record of always having your analysiier approved.

If you will look at both the entire bidding and the vulnerability chosen, EW vulnerable, one may rest somewhat convinced as to which hand the ace of diamonds is probably stashed.

Such are the unwritten responsibilities of a bridge columnist, to first consider the hand chosen, followed by remaining awake as to the logical details necessary.

Bobby WolffSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 12:04 pm

Hi again AVRR,

How did that attempt for that word analysiier sneak into my last post? Oh well, being old has some advantages for excuses.

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 12:15 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
With due respect, I only considered what might happen in case west held diamond A if south cashes trump honors early. However, the probability is next to zero but some times improbable things do happen . Again my apologies if you don’t find this in order

Iain ClimieSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 1:06 pm

Hi Bobby, AVRR,

Thanks for the comments.



Bobby WolffSeptember 23rd, 2022 at 2:20 pm

Hi AVRR, Iain, & Myself,

Yes, improbable things can happen and, if possible, try and include them in one’s plans, but, if not available to so do, learn to live with it the best one can.