Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, January 13th, 2023


Iain ClimieJanuary 27th, 2023 at 9:48 am

Hi Bobby,

One of the great charms (but also frustrations) of bridge is when a bad or madcap action turns out well. A few years ago I recall making 8 tricks in 2S (at pairs) when Mrs. Guggenheim might have made 10 because I’d opened 1S in 4th position after RHO had miscounted his points in 3rd hand and passed a 14 count. Instead of talking a late finesse through his SK (trumps hadn’t been broached) and then cashing the Ace picking up Kx on side I played a spade to the Ace and then the Q giving myself a slight extra chance of K alone offside. Sure enough LHO had S10xx and got a trump promotion – AAAARGH! I apologised to partner, saying I hadn’t worked out RHO had a 14 count and he amusingly said “neither did I” and we all laughed. Last night I got away with the proverbial homicide.

At game all (pairs) I held QJ9xx A98x K Qxx and pard opens a 12-14 NT. All depends on whether the DK is working but I kicked off with Stayman and partner bid 2D doubled by RHO. Clearly it is time to downgrade the hand and settle for 2S but in a moment of madness I decided to redouble – ending the auction. Absurd as after all, if pard bids 2H over the XX I’m going to bid 2S anyway. I put dummy down with apologies but partner (Chris Stevens who has also played with Patrick) is a fine player and is prepared to take anti-field views.
He reassured me – and promptly rolled in +760 holding AK10 xx Q1098x Kxx coping fairly easily with the doubler’s DAJxxx. I made a totally pointless bid which landed in the dung pile and came up smelling of roses.



Patrick CheuJanuary 27th, 2023 at 11:47 am

Hi Iain, I would have liked to be there to see Chris’s face when you put dummy down…that’s what I miss most through not playing face to face bridge for the last three years…the verbal exchanges and laughter…:o)

Iain ClimieJanuary 27th, 2023 at 1:58 pm

Hi Patrick,

Chris knew what he was doing – he knew I had few diamonds with his LHO doubling 2D and him holding 5 but you know him – prepared to gamble if he thinks it is good odds.
We have mix-ups and disagreements but he his great fun to play with – NEVER a dull moment.



Peter PengJanuary 27th, 2023 at 2:35 pm

of course, you would not have redoubled without the king of diamonds

Peter PengJanuary 27th, 2023 at 2:42 pm

i sat on a on-line table as a substitute and found myself declaring 6C having only one clube in dummy.

My opponents got to 5C and I had 6-6 in the majors, void in clubs. so I bid 6C.

Partner passed, and opponents gently passed all around.

Of couser, I was called to substiture.

oh, in time, I did not make the contract.

Iain ClimieJanuary 27th, 2023 at 8:02 pm

Hi Peter,

Horror stories are part of the macabre pleasure we all get from the game. I remember once holdin A AkQJ9xx AKQx x and RHO opened 1D. I bid 4N LHO bid 5S pard passed and RHO bid 6C. I bid 6H, LHO took the push and went 2 off doubled. The defence can beat 4H!! T1 spade ruffed D back ruffed, club to the K and another D ruff. LHO is 10-2-0-1 RHO 0-1-6-6.



Bobby WolffJanuary 27th, 2023 at 9:14 pm

Hi Iain, Patrick, and Peter,

No doubt with certain players offering “table up” our memories of what happens begets ruff, another way to spell rough.

In today’s hand, what if East, not minding his learning of second hand low, rises with the nine of diamonds, after of course the strip, demanding South to have to guess the low diamond return from West after winning declarer’s queen with his king.

It is hands like the ones that Iain presents which cause many players to switch to “Battle” a game where everyone turns over his card and the high card wins. Impossible to make a mistake, but even, if so, Mrs. Gugenheim will likely face a card from another deck.