Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, March 10th, 2023


Iain ClimieMarch 24th, 2023 at 2:07 pm

Hi Bobby,

A fair number of players might find that play with HAQx but you’d need nerves of steel here. Just as long as South doesn’t have 8 hearts and (say) CK or Q alone although then I’d expect him to maybe just bid 4H over 1N or perhaps to open 4H.



bobbywolffMarch 24th, 2023 at 2:59 pm

Hi Iain,

Some game experts have overlooked the subterfuge
capabilities to which high-level bridge is blessed.

Pity for them, since, of all the popular games available, our beloved game is not lacking in, an occasional ruse, and the one in view here is far from being petty.

Even poker, with all its wide variety of unusual antics, cannot and should not, deny the incredible chicanery shown here, and in notrump, not just spades.

jim2March 24th, 2023 at 3:19 pm

I would fear AQx trump offside (as Iain said) and take the diamond finesse.

After all, if trump are Ax – Qx, then cashing the KH will still win even if the diamond finesse loses.

Iain ClimieMarch 24th, 2023 at 3:29 pm

Hi Jim2,

Would your answer be different if West were a weak player? Quite possibly except you’d find that Mrs. Guggenheim or (far worse) RR had started with HAQ alone but the H Q had strayed into diamonds and they’d somehow talked themselves out of leading a D from KQxx(x), preferring a safer spade. Are you familiar with the origin of Morton’s fork (not the bridge variant which may be all too common against you) and its possible mutation into TOCM or similar over the centuries?

Mind you, if someone did pull this ruse against you the way the cards lie and you took the D finesse then bashed down the HK, you’d actually have the last laugh.



bobby wolffMarch 25th, 2023 at 12:55 pm

Hi Jim2 & Iain,

While I agree with Iain, much sympathy needs to be given Jim2 for, in spite of his first trump finesse apparently working, he daren’t (coined word) go for two in a row. In truth, for him to ever see, feel, much less experience, a working finesse, he will automatically resort to then not having bid his game (one worked, years ago, with that scenario).

After all he did coin (that word again) his now common phrase, “I might as well just play for the drop”, even with seven of them still out.