Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday April 12th, 2023


bobbywolffApril 26th, 2023 at 2:53 pm

Hi Everyone,

Making Damon Runyon’s lead quote perhaps exactly correct, since the defense had about 6 opportunities to succeed and the declarer only 5. Difficult to challenge these odds merchants.

Iain ClimieApril 26th, 2023 at 3:01 pm

Hi Bobby,

Somebody once said that games (he was thinking of chess) are usually won by the player who makes the next to last mistake (obviously assuming they take turns). This can clearly be “nit-picked” but there is more than a grain of truth in it.

These seemingly unglamorous hands are often responsible for sorting winners from losers, though, especially at pairs. Even at IMPs, the 4 to 6 IMP swings add up.



A V Ramana RaoApril 26th, 2023 at 4:24 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Very instructive deal with a seesaw battle but
perhaps declarer too had a sixth chance considering the powerful trumps in dummy. Once west turned up with spade K, heart QJ ( inference from east’s heart ten shift), east is certain to have both missing club honors for his vulnerable opening bid. So, after winning heart K, he crosses to dummy with trump for leading club. East wins but cannot cash remaining club honor as dummy has entry in trump. Actually, today south would prevail even by leading club J from hand and later finessing west for club ten but that would be silly. Leading club from dummy is 100% . The cinch of course is east having doubleton heart but if his hearts were 109x, there is no play

A V Ramana RaoApril 26th, 2023 at 4:47 pm

No, there is a flaw in my analysis since east has third trump. Declarer would survive if east were 2254 but would go down as east can return trump at every opportunity and declarer loses communication with dummy. Sorry for the 100% statement

bobbywolffApril 26th, 2023 at 7:50 pm

Hi Iain,

While implying next to last mistake should not be a certainty that person is innocent of the very last one, it does, by melodic reporting, strongly suggest it. However, it, instead, be just the chagrin suffered by the overall loser in stating, “Yes you won I lost, but your play, especially on your (?, could be any number) would be Stephen Potter’s retort in an attempt
to get solace for losing and, for teaching others, how to lose ungracefully.

bobbywolffApril 26th, 2023 at 8:11 pm


Apology accepted, although unnecessary, since bridge, the rascal, does not take kindly
to top analysts who outshine them in obtaining information they want to take credit for reporting, by their deeds alone. Sort of a professional jealousy never to be lessened, much less, altogether going away.

bobbywolffApril 26th, 2023 at 11:03 pm


Iain ClimieApril 27th, 2023 at 7:18 am

Hi Bobby,

The reference to Stephen Potter may not be familiar to all but his views on gamesmanship and the like are well worth a look. They were written decades ago but are still funny and relevant.

I also used to have a cartoon of Snoopy having clearly lost a tennis match with an enraged expression and steam almost coming out of his ears. His thought bubble said “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose – until you lose!”



bobbywolffApril 27th, 2023 at 4:49 pm

Hi Iain,

Or, next thing you know, your winning opponent is standing next to you on the down elevator, with several next to you, congratulating the victor on his “lop sided” triumph.

Much consolation,