Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, January 11th, 2023


Iain ClimieJanuary 25th, 2023 at 9:51 am

Hi Bobby,

I think I’d have got the spade wrong if East had taken the CK and switched on the basis that East wouldn’t have risked playing a spade away from the Q in case I had (say) SKJ10. What do I know though?

ON BWTA the arrangement I have with many partners is that Michaels is either weak (as here) or strong (15/16+) and hands in 11-14 have to improvise. Does this seem sensible?



Patrick CheuJanuary 26th, 2023 at 9:37 am

Hi Bobby, Maybe we should let the Ten of spades migrate from the West hand and East will be vindicated in taking the KC and switching to spades..but in practice I just cannot imagine many defender taking the KC once West shows out..would you?

Patrick CheuJanuary 26th, 2023 at 9:43 am

Hi Iain, Once East decided to take KC and switch to a spade..he must be hoping for KX or KT in declarer’s hand..for there is nothing else to do looking at dummy or his hand..I stand to be corrected..:) Regards Patrick

Iain ClimieJanuary 26th, 2023 at 11:28 am

Hi Patrick,

Seems likely although there is one outside possibility. What if declarer holds AK AK10x Kxxx Axx and West has decided that the risk of giving up the 9th trick is outweighed by setting up 4 winners so has led form DAQJ10x? After all, there’d be no hesitation in starting with the DK from KQJ10x and, at IMPs anyway, beating the contract is paramount.



Iain ClimieJanuary 26th, 2023 at 11:30 am

OK, declarer MIGHT have ducked T1 there.

Bobby WolffJanuary 26th, 2023 at 3:47 pm

Hi Iain,

I’m not basically in favor of of a conventional mixed range with defensive conventions, but still apply such, of course depending mightily, on both the vulnerability and the opponents bidding for a “tell as to which” as the bidding continues.

Because of the above, and what both my partner’s tendencies and to whom are we playing against, a guide I would always NV, Michaels the problem hand. Reason, just too much chance we will miss a good chance for a good save, a push em up, or even a lucky make. Just look at it as a same chance of being a disaster for not
bidding as well as affirmative.

Need not tell anyone, but likely always vulnerable as well!

Bobby WolffJanuary 26th, 2023 at 3:53 pm

Hi Patrick,

Right on since we know that ducking will cause one less club trick to declarer, at trick two a sure trick gained is worth giving up best, but with only a specific holding. However, when partner wins and is right with the spade shift, I’ll be very reserved with my criticism.