Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, November 1st, 2022


jim2November 15th, 2022 at 1:11 pm

Still ANOTHER reason for the text line is that a singleton QD also fails the AKC first line of play.

Iain ClimieNovember 15th, 2022 at 4:59 pm

Hi Jim2,

Dropping the stiff DQ is (sort of) good news except now you only need 3C tricks not 4 (if the DAK don’t drop the Q) and now you have a 2-way positioon for the CQ. Of course the odds are in favour of the short D hand having longer C but ……



jim2November 15th, 2022 at 7:16 pm

Iain –

As I stated, the singleton QD fails the line that begins with taking the AKC first.

That is, you cannot finesse for the QC if you have already cashed both top club honors.

Iain ClimieNovember 15th, 2022 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jim2,

I know but I think you’ve missed what I meant. You correctly cash DA picking up Q alone then 2 more diamonds, all according to plan. Now you have 2 equal ways to play the clubs for 3 tricks whereas if the DAK hadn’t felled the DQ then club K and club to the 10 is a clearly better try for 4 tricks than running the J. So TOCM now looms.


jim2November 15th, 2022 at 10:34 pm

You modified the alternative line by first cashing the AD before AKC.

And, yes, TOCM ™ guarantees there would be no point in my finding a QD singleton.

Iain ClimieNovember 16th, 2022 at 12:07 pm

Hi Jim2,

I thought of you and TOCM (TM) on a hand I played the other day and wrote up in the column. I wound up in 6C after RHO had opened 1S, I doubled, LHO bid 3S (very weak by agreement) and I held

Ax AQ AJ10 KQ10xxx opposite dummy’s x Jxxx K9xx J9xx. The heart finesse worked and the HK came down in 3 so I had no problems in diamonds. East held 5-3-4-1 (stiff CA and the DQ plus the HK). You’d have found him with HK109x and 3 diamonds in a 5-4-3-1 shape and we know where that is going. If you guess the D, bad news, if you play for the squeeze, West will have DQxx so reducing dummy to HJ DKx opposite your DAJ10 after running the clubs (first ruffing a spade) will leave the suit blocked.

My sympathies!


jim2November 16th, 2022 at 1:03 pm


(Congrats, BTW, for ruffing the heart for the extra chance.)

Iain ClimieNovember 16th, 2022 at 3:43 pm

HI Jim2,

Thanks for that, but RHO’s opening bid made life simple. Also, if dummy had Hxxxx the ruff would have isolated the menace for a potential red suit squeeze although East with HKJxx could still muddy the waters. The DJ10 actually give me extra losing chances in some ways! A bit like playing 3N with SQ10 on table opposite Axx in hand on a small card led – Qx gives you no choice, Q10 leads to anguished squirming.