Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, January 16th, 2023


Iain ClimieJanuary 30th, 2023 at 12:49 pm

Hi Bobby,

A nice defensive ploy, helping strip dummy of trumps while retaining control, and it shows the benefits of study or just reading bridge columns. It would be very hard to work that out from first principles at the table.

On the lead problem, the lead is safe if partner holds the SJ or SK and fine if partner has the SA if it is under the K. The only problems would be either leading round to declarer’s KJx or AJx opposite the other top honour or if the suit is frozen with declarer holding (say) Jx opposite Kxx(x) in dummy. As East is clearly the stronger hand this is odds against although it is near certain (and with partner holding a high club) if TOCM rears its ugly head.



jim2January 30th, 2023 at 1:39 pm


I wonder if South’s club holding after East’s opening might argue for a 3N rebid instead of 4H.

Iain ClimieJanuary 30th, 2023 at 2:28 pm

Hi Jim2,

3N Looks good to me I must say with the slow but solid double club stop.


Bobby WolffJanuary 30th, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Hi Iain & Jim2,

When I think of that par contest in 1967 (unfortunately a long ago date to which I had already actively participated as well as many years before then) and consider the error which is mentioned in our text, my thoughts drift to the growing up with bridge together with the proof reading, never allowing such an error.

Of course, my fervent desires during these sometimes-isolated moments are that,
despite the effects of covid, our current bridge leadership does their utmost to never let bridge slip off the map. It is just too great a game to vanish, especially since all the obvious cheating of the past being recognized, giving us significant hope for a bright and healthy game for, at the very least, many decades, perhaps centuries, to come.

Bobby WolffJanuary 30th, 2023 at 7:01 pm

Hi Iain & Jim2

Also, methinks that with what might be called a random 6-4-2-1 it will normally
be an almost automatic trump game (or contract) that I would choose, instead of 3NT, which indeed is cold as ice, while 4 hearts needs to be played deftly to succeed. Of course, that would be limited to a 6 card major suit who has now engineered some support.

While not being able to 100% explain why (am not sure myself) that applies, only, that it does, probably because while holding that distribution it seems that even when a partner (shorter trump holding) actually bids NT, of course, depending on when and why, his partner (certainly after being supported) will opt for instead, that trump contract. I realize, that here, the stronger hand could have done so, but, if done, the weaker hand will (probably should) acquiesce.

The above, while sounding like an edict, is not meant to be, but rather just the result of experience, but possibly my judgment needs an uptick to reality.