Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Sunday April 23rd, 2023


Iain ClimieMay 7th, 2023 at 9:09 pm

Hi Bobby,

On Controls Galore’s hand, a slightly tweaked Losing Trick Count (7 trumps to the King is surely only one loser given the fit and 7 to the Ace could even be seen as 0 losers) suggests the hand is 5 losers opposite an expected 7 losers in partner’s hand. I know it is an old fashioned and sometimes inconsistent method (to say nothing of players using it incorrectly e.g. without a fit or a really freakish hand) but it is a good way of weighing up marginal decisions. That hand doesn’t eem that marginal, though – perhaps a spade less and a club more might slow me down a bit but I’d still be very hopeful of slam.



bobbywolffMay 7th, 2023 at 10:04 pm

Hi Iain,

My take on simple hand valuation varies with determining victory. I do not fall victim to various suggestions such as losing trick count nor any modern treatment to which I have heard. At least to me, it is advantageous to establish an unscientific simple “feel” for what one’s experience has taught him or her. Yes, Iain I do agree, that your example strongly suggests a slam when partner raises spades and you are blessed with the necessary controls. But, as to why, someone else needs to amplify what I am suggesting.

TedMay 8th, 2023 at 3:44 am

Hi Bobby,

Looking for some help from the Flannery experts. Been playing it for a bit and partner ask me a question for which I couldn’t come up with a good answer.

Partner opens 1H and I respond 1S (promising 5+ spades). Partner now bids 3S. Is this showing a reverse with 5 hearts, 4 spades and too many HCP for Flannery, or does he have 3 spades with an invitational bid and a standard 1H opener? What is the best way to bid these two hand types?


Steven ConradMay 8th, 2023 at 4:08 pm

The Monday syndrome has arisen again — just when I thought it had become extinct! Sigh

Iain ClimieMay 8th, 2023 at 5:54 pm

HI Steven,

It’ll be back and worth the wait.


bobbywolffMay 8th, 2023 at 8:55 pm

Hi Ted,

A jump to 3 spades over 1H P 1S P is merely 3 or 4 spades and invitational to game.
I am not a believer of overburdening any partnership with specific do’s and dont’s when the
bid made basically says the identical thing. Sure, it would be better to differentiate every type of response. if able, but the forgets would surely cancel out the advantage. And that statement, at least for my concern, even applies to bridge nerds who seek perfection.

bobbywolffMay 8th, 2023 at 9:08 pm

Hi Steven & Iain,

Yes, I wish for better, but am satisfied with middle ground and strain to not get worse.

Perhaps I should strive for best, and we have achieved success while dealing with, what I think are the best group anywhere, who have stood their ground firmly, even while risking being conned. Thanks Iain for your always complete and unequaled support.

Iain ClimieMay 10th, 2023 at 7:14 am

Hi Bobby, Folks,

Help – I’m getting withdrawal symptoms! Best of luck with fixing it.


bobbywolffMay 10th, 2023 at 2:09 pm

Hi Iain,

Although I have not heard a word from anyone, this delay could be very serious. The people who were in charge of displaying the hand told me several months ago that about this time,
they might be forced to make some changes, but what they might be, they had not decided.

The problem then becomes almost insurmountable to continue, since so many loose ends
need to be sewn together and at Judy’s and my age, we are not in a position to keep it going. Sorry to confess that fact, since, above all, our early mornings will never be the same for me to enjoy my almost daily contact with you and, of course, with our other superlative
cast of characters who all deserve the best.

However, we have been threatened with our existence before and someone or something
always came to our aid. Let’s hope for another miracle, since losing our group is a form of death to both Judy and me, and especially your incredible loyalty, bridge knowledge, personality, and time.

Iain ClimieMay 10th, 2023 at 5:23 pm

Hi Bobby,

I got some feedback so things should be back to normal in a few weeks at worst.



bobbywolffMay 10th, 2023 at 5:49 pm

Hi Everyone,

Yes, what I was now considering inevitable is sadly true. but the news offers a significant ray of hope from my heartbreak.

Let’s just think of it when playing the final hand, a slam in which to win or lose a World Championship being directly involved in this one result, but taking a few weeks to play, because of its importance. Will the declarer (us) find the winning line? Please stay tuned!