Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday April 13th, 2023


Iain ClimieApril 27th, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Hi Bobby,

Very nicely played by South but can I raise an unrelated query. I always thought that the Duke of Cumberland hand (as used in the James Bond book “Moonraker”) involved the victim holding AKQJ AKQJ AK KJ9 and of course LHO has CAQ108x DQxxxxxxx with no major suit cards while the hand opposite has a void D and the other 5C. I just found this version on BBO:,%E2%99%A0%20AKQ%20%E2%99%A5%20AKQ3%20%E2%99%A6%20AK%20%E2%99%A3%20KJ97

To me it seems that a lead of a top major honour against this will beat the hand. I did run into the following real hand (unlike this and the Mississippi heart hand) many years ago, though. I held A AKQJ10xx AKQx x. RHO opened 1D, I bid 4N, LHO bid 5S, RHO bid 6C and I bid 6H. LHO saved in 6S at favourable vulnerability but, if he’d passed it to RHO, they might have doubled, Even if you don’t redouble, you’d feel reasonably confident apart from the 4th D. You go 3 off!

The opening spade lead is ruffed (dummy has SQx), a D back is ruffed, a club to RHO’s King (he was 0-1-6-6, his partner was 10-2-0-1) and another D complete declarer’s discomfort. Silly game, but we got 300 off 6SX for a very good score when LHO tried to pin the singleton SQ instead of playing for me to have SA alone.

Manually dealt hand incidentally.



bobbywolffApril 27th, 2023 at 3:26 pm

Hi Iain,

My, your bridge life has taken an adventuresome twist.

Not withstanding your manually dealt certainty, perhaps your opponents had, at least by chance, of being acquainted with that hand at some prior time before play, whether duplicate or rubber.

Just my known penchant for theatrics rather than realistic, keeps goading me.