Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday March 30th, 2023


Iain ClimieApril 13th, 2023 at 2:30 pm

HI Bobby,

If East is going to overcall with that sort of hand, he surely needs a better suit. Just change the C3 to the C10 and South is going off, despite his best efforts. Yes, West missed a trick but he can hardly be blamed for doubling. I’d have a lot more sympathy with East treating that hand as a WJO even though it does take away some space over 1H.



Mircea GiurgeuApril 13th, 2023 at 3:26 pm

Does a diamond lead sink this contract?

Iain ClimieApril 13th, 2023 at 3:40 pm

Hi Mircea,

Yes. Declarer can’t unravel his hearts in time so a diamond, CA and 2 spades are certain losers as an absolute minimum and another loser could easily occur without very precise play. Declarer has to unravel the clubs himself, for example, and has extra chances to go wrong.

On marginal overcalls, I’ve started to ask myself what happens if partner leads the honour when holding Qx or Kx when considering overcalling on some broken pile of rubbish. OK, it doesn’t always stop me bidding at pairs but I try to be saner at teams.



jim2April 13th, 2023 at 6:04 pm

On BWTA, it is too bad that South cannot rule out that his partner might have four spades …

bobby wolffApril 13th, 2023 at 6:42 pm

Hi Iain & Mircea,

Thanks Iain, for not only what I agree as the correct answer to Mircea’s question but also the details surrounding it.

However, I don’t really believe your denouncement of East’s 2 club overcall, although a jump to 3 clubs, for the reason you gave, does also have appeal.
True the overcalled suit has very poor spot cards, but quite often length, rather than strength, wins the day, depending, of course, on the basic utility of how the EW hands match up.

Since when have you become so attuned to such tiny details as small ones rather than kings and queens. Besides “The play’s the thing to which we will gain the bridge knowledge of the King”. (“Henry Shakespeare”, a friend from Texas)

Yes, I know the quote above has been radically amended to better describe our beloved game, but haven’t your close bridge friends and fans described you as a man who has never met a bridge hand or perhaps a pretty face, he didn’t like? Notice, I kept the anatomy mentioned presentable.

And, of course a word to the wise, sometimes teams are easier to avoid criticism by always playing slowly while participating, not then allowing teammates time to ask questions.

bobby wolffApril 13th, 2023 at 7:04 pm

Hi Jim2,

Particularly when and a larger and more likely applicable chance that your partnership is not playing 4 card majors, a system which will always, even if I live to be 150, be my favorite bridge system.

The huge advantage (likely overlooked by most) of such is that the opponents now, especially many times when on defense, will not be able to count and therefore rely on their defensive opponent’s hands as often as a 5 card major system. Need to buy the next installment for many other advantages.