Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, January 19th, 2023


Iain ClimieFebruary 2nd, 2023 at 10:04 am

Hi Bobby,

The squeeze possibility you mentioned is interesting assuming South has x QJ109xxx xx A8x. If West exits with a trump at T4 (say) South wins on table, cashes the other top trump, ruffs a diamond and runs trumps reducing to x Q none A8 opposite A none Q J10 with West holding S none H none D Kx CKx. The HQ gets a diamond from West, North throwing a club and now a spade to the Ace finishes the job – but only because South has the C8. Without it, West could unguard the CK and the defence prevails provided East has kept 2 clubs in the endgame.



Bobby WolffFebruary 2nd, 2023 at 1:46 pm

Hi Iain,

Always thanks for your imagination. The real culprit is the failure by this pair for not playing 4 level major suit transfers even over defensive 1NT overcalls, making it extremely difficult for West to fatally not try and cash his second high diamond.

Experience should have taught us to, if faced with a choice, allow the strong hand to stay closed, therein more often, making it more difficult for the defense to perfectly defend.

While attempting to play top level bridge it is often a successful mantra to mirror a long ago love song, sung principally and I think originally by “Joni James” with the title of “Little Things Mean A Lot” which begins “Blow me a kiss from across the room, say I look nice when I’m not”. “A line a day when you’re far away, little things mean a lot”. Suggesting bridge players can get romantic, also.

Perhaps not often, but sometimes.

Iain ClimieFebruary 2nd, 2023 at 2:07 pm

Hi Bobby,

Thanks for the thought although I played tournament bridge with my then girlfriend from late 1979 to 1980. I tended (then) to behave in a similar manner at the table to Alan Sontag’s description of Ira Rubin in “The Bridge Bum” and the relationship did not survive – basically MY FAULT! Worse, she was quite well-off so that was even more justified retribution.

My wife (of 35 years in September) is very tolerant but won’t even think about learning the game even though I’ve mellowed considerably.