Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, January 21st, 2023


Iain ClimieFebruary 4th, 2023 at 5:34 pm

Hi Bobby,

“Right through the Pack’s” story today is maybe the H8. If South had it instead of the 7, he is OK (or of course if H are 3-2 or 4-1 the other way). A touch unlucky but a good par hand I must say.



Bobby WolffFebruary 4th, 2023 at 8:14 pm

Hi Iain,

The hand today should be presented with only one major goal. That being said,
to insure that playing expert bridge is no more, than advanced arithmetic, accenting gaining a trick (for emphasis on defense, the setting one) via a trump promotion, sometime overlooked by a non-imaginable defender.

Once introduced to what it takes to succeed, is usually all it takes to recognize allowing an experienced partnership to glow in its proper execution as long as the right partner being dealt a high enough trump (usually a middle one) and his partner first spies the opportunity, then is blessed with a defensive suit which qualifies.

“Nothing to it”, the walrus said, as long as he or she is aware of that opportunity.

Harry HvFebruary 5th, 2023 at 5:12 am

What happens if declarer ducks the first spade? East wins and returns a spade, perhaps after taking a round of trumps with the ace. Any other return would not help the defence.

Then declarer takes the spade ace, disembarrasses himself of the club ace and plays 3 rounds of diamonds discarding his last spade on the third diamond.

Now declarer has only trumps left and if dummy still has its trump 9, declarer can use that to knock out the ace. Yes East will return a club but declarer still has sufficient high cards to draw trumps after ruffing the club high. Similarly if the defence had already taken a round of trumps with the ace, declarer would play the last diamond from dummy and ruff it high,

Kind Regards

Bobby WolffFebruary 5th, 2023 at 2:04 pm

Hi Harry,

First, thanks for your post. By doing so, you open up opportunities for others to play along with possibilities to discover the infinite beauty of our great game.

The only chink with your line of play is when the first spade is ducked, East does NOT cash his ace of trump, but instead, merely returns a spade forcing declarer to immediately play three rounds of diamonds, disposing of his would be setting trick, the third spade.

Following that, when then in with his ace of trump East is enabled to lead that critical fourth diamond, requiring declarer to trump high to which West does not overtrump, but rather just discards.

Thus, EW have established the setting trick with the critical 8 of spades allowing that middling card the honor of being the setting trick.

That’s the oft told tale of good play. but also good defense, with the added feature of allowing erstwhile insignificant cards to have their day with glory.

Again, we appreciate your inclusion and don’t be a stranger.

Harry HvFebruary 6th, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Thank you Bobby, I see it now. Declarer has to ruff the club return high and if West holds up the trump K long enough, as Ian says, ultimately declarer’s 7 will fall to Wests’s 8 of hearts and that card would have its story to tell in Ron Klinger’s entertaining book Right Through the Pack Again (which I keep on my bedside table,)

Yours overawed to be conversing with the champion