Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, November 14th, 2022


Iain ClimieNovember 28th, 2022 at 11:55 am

Hi Bobby,

If South had SJ10 HAKJ9 D AKQx C109x or similar the hand is much easier to play. Choice is often considered desirable but at bridge it is often the opposite – in similar vein, having Qx in dummy opposite Axx playing in NT there is no choice on the lead. Give dummy Q10 in that suit and the nightmare starts.

This raises a question on TOCM. One old partner of mine, faced with an agonising KJxx opposite xx guess in a side suit and very little to go on, apologised to his opponents in advance after taking an age, fished out a coin, tossed it and got it right as a result. Would such an approach help Jim2 or would the curse infect the coin too?



Bobby WolffNovember 28th, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Hi Iain,

My guess the answer is some this, but otherwise, some that.

For example with Jim2, as declarer and holding the same as you explained Qx opposite A8x and playing against newbies he also got the 7 led, rose with the queen to the tune of the singleton K on his right when the opening leader chose his 4th best instead of the jack from J109.

Upon later questioning the opening leader as to his choice, his opponent explained that they play strictly 4th best and besides “why waste an honor when you do not need to” and besides they play jack denies, but he forgot to write it down.

When and if playing against cheats most of them carry with them “special coins” which either have two heads or 2 tails with them so before making a choice they take the appropriate one out, and toss it, so that they will have proof positive to avoid being accused of having a premature look at the hand records.

Although they are the scourge of the bridge world, you have got to admire their homework.

Finally, since curses also have to live too, it depends, what the curse charges and how much the buyers have to spend, in order to decide when to go percentage or not proving the new adage, “Money is oft times the root
of some evil”.

jim2November 28th, 2022 at 5:51 pm


Sadly, if I flipped a coin, the Club AQ and 108 would BOTH change hands whilst the coin was in the air. 🙁

Bobby WolffNovember 28th, 2022 at 7:43 pm

Hi Jim2,

The good news is that magicians might kibitz you, looking for dubious, but authentic new acts.

jim2November 28th, 2022 at 8:15 pm

They would have to be the same ones who’d be willing to be at a Pharaoh’s tomb opening to see how curses work!