Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday April 19th, 2023


Jeff SerandosMay 3rd, 2023 at 3:27 pm

Hi Bobby,

The diamond at trick 2 seems like the way to go. Even if West wins, it does not looks like there are two spade tricks available to the defense – if he leads the 10, covered by North and East, South is high and if he leads the four, there is nothing to be lost by playing the three from the board, if East has the KT, there is nothing to be done anyway.

As the hand was played, I am having a hard time understanding why West led another spade instead of one his club winners.


Iain ClimieMay 3rd, 2023 at 3:38 pm

Hi Bobby,

I have to say that playing the HK from hand just “feels” wrong in the same way that, when I used to play chess, some moves just didn’t look right. TBF, West might have 3 trumps here when it isn’t so daft.

Surprised at West though. Assuming that East had ruffed the club with the H10, surely the location of the HJ is clear cut.



A V Ramana RaoMay 3rd, 2023 at 4:12 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
But perhaps there is no harm in cashing two high trumps after winning the lead . If trumps break, south needs only one diamond ruff and even if trumps break 3-1, dummy leads clubs and if third club is ruffed, south ruffs two diamonds in dummy. If both follow to third club, dummy leads another club discarding last spade from hand and cannot be prevented from making ten tricks even if the third trump is in the hand with fourth club. After the initial spade J lead, assuming that it is from J 10, spade suit is frozen . Defense cannot lead spade without presenting a trick as the cards lay as declarer holds all important nine. If west leads ten of spades, dummy covers and if east leads spade, Q in dummy scores. Or is it that I am missing some elementary point?

Jeff SerandosMay 3rd, 2023 at 5:52 pm

Hi A V Ramana Rao,

I had looked at your line cashing two trumps. The problem I ran into was that after trumping in, East leads two diamonds. I ended up being forced to lead spades myself at the end and could not find a way to avoid losing two spade tricks. But maybe I am missing something.

bobbywolffMay 3rd, 2023 at 6:00 pm

Hi Jeff,

Yes, every reader is wondering the same thing about why. Call it simply a brain joust or something more revealing.

And also agreeing to declarer planning on ruffing diamonds in dummy.

bobbywolffMay 3rd, 2023 at 8:07 pm

Hi Iain,

Your discussion about “feel” is what separates the sheep from the goats with the winner a little “lamb”. Meaning, how to “guess it right”

Don’t ever be surprised by mistakes made at the table since only being human is enough
to arouse suspicion. Not to say that every other animal would get it right, even a wolf,
especially by one with only one F.

Iain ClimieMay 4th, 2023 at 9:41 am

Hi Bobby,

A further point is that if East has started with SKx (when West’s S10 would hold and he could then give West a club ruff), South has started with S98xxx – wouldn’t the bid have then been 4D allowing partner to pick a major? Declarer might even have played the SQ at T1 as East couldn’t play another spade from K10x.