Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday, November 6th, 2022


clarksburgNovember 20th, 2022 at 8:08 pm

Hello Bobby
Matchpoints Neither Vul N Dealer
North 10987 QJ96 K4 AK9
South K AK753 AQ82 Q82
It was a huge on-line ACBL game. Of the 56 NS’s who declared Hearts, 23 Pairs bid to 6 Hearts.
The most common auction was 1C>1H>>2H> 4NT (1430). N showed the one key card then S on to 6H.
(So there was no control bidding to cover the two quick Club losers in South’s hand).
Your comments?

Iain ClimieNovember 20th, 2022 at 8:15 pm

Hi Clarksburg,

Just as well opener had the right major suit Q and the J helped to. Not so good if the major suit holdings were reversed.

If playing a weak NT, presumably things start 1N – 2D – 2H – 3D when 4C is ideal IF it agrees hearts. I suppose 4D agrees D here but it isn’t an inference I’d want to find at the table.



TedNovember 21st, 2022 at 2:11 am

Hi Bobby,

In a recent club game, both NV, in third seat I held
J 87653 – AKJ9872

I decided to open 3C, LHO bid 3S and was raised to 4S.

Partner held
1072 AK104 K7632 2

We played some of our best defense of the session and beat 4S 3 tricks. I was feeling good until LHO remarked “6H makes your direction.”

Is there a better way to bid this hand?
If my major suit holdings were reversed, would opening the hand 1C make sense?


jim2November 21st, 2022 at 3:50 am

I am not Our Host, but 6H seems to be a fairly low percentage slam.

(e.g., ruff second spade, top heart drops an honor from LHO, you decide to play restricted choice so ruff to take finesse, it holds, you finish trump but now need clubs to be 3-2)

4H, OTOH, looks cold, 5H looks very good, and even 5C seems a fair contract.

In “Old School” bridge, the general rule was not to preempt if one had a good suit and a good 4-card major or any 5-card major. I have no clue what the “meta” is now.

Iain ClimieNovember 21st, 2022 at 10:04 am

Hi Folks,

The Monday gremlin appears to have struck again!



bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2022 at 5:10 am

Hi Clarksburg,

Back in the day, it was OK to ask for aces when missing at least 2nd round control of non bid suit such as this one, when partner has opened that suit. Nothing to write home about nor to severely criticize since no good bridge player that I have met thinks or should that bridge is anywhere near a perfect challenge. Sadly (are you listening Jim2?), there is still a gamble in bidding, especially with slams, and AFAIK there always
be one since there is just not enough hands which lend themselves to slams which could be claimed before the dummy comes down.

So do not fret, just bid ’em up and let the devil take the hindmost.

bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2022 at 5:22 am

Hi Iain,

Yes, one of the first things a new hopeful partnership needs to discuss is what random bridge sequences require inferential suit establishment bids, informing partner both what suit is now established and which individual suit has a 1st or even 2nd round control.

Hopefully, nothing real complicated, and certainly easy to identify. Sometimes easier said then done. Your post is a good example of what could be thought, but too easily forgotten.

bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2022 at 5:29 am

Hi Ted,

Your 3 club 3rd seat preempt missed the heart fit. Shame on you for preempting
your partner and I’ll have you know that I would NOT open 3 clubs. Instead I would
choose to open 4 clubs while holding a 7-5-l hand.

No genius me!

bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2022 at 5:38 am

Hi Jim2,

Your TOCM has finally gotten to you. Perhaps 6 hearts is only a 98% contract, but how did you go set and two tricks since an opening diamond lead was ruffed, back to the ace of spades and another diamond ruff.

Did they double and please do not say yes, but strangely by the opening leader. Good leaders make good leads and really good leaders do not have to require partner to double for a lead, but merely almost always just get lucky.

jim2November 22nd, 2022 at 12:32 pm

Well, the slam needs trump 2-2 so that puts it as a 41% success rate, or less. It RHO drops an honor on the first play, even if declarer “knows” it was a singleton and somehow plays for it, kind clubs would still be necessary for the contract to make.

As for TOCM ™, there is no “finally,” as it is my constant companion. Karapet only THOUGHT he was unlucky!

bobbywolffNovember 22nd, 2022 at 5:55 pm

Hi Jim2,

Please forgive me, since I was referring to the other hand being discussed, not the
1-5-0-7 one, making me a classic TOLD (theory of lazy discovery).

Proving again that you have paid the ultimate price to all of your former partners to make up for their having to share their bridge results with you. Never through the years and even decades, have you ever erred in your bridge analysis.

Again apologies for my reference to FORMER partner but, I can now say what I think is an “established fact”…..You would stand out to be the player who is top of the list to kibitz, or just to listen to, but sadly, not to partner.