Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday May 22nd, 2023


Jeff SerandosMay 22nd, 2023 at 6:41 am

Hi Bobby,

I have missed this column so much. Welcome back!!!

And a very nice hand to start with. Trumping my partner’s winner to remove any guesswork is a play that always seems to lurk in my bridge blind-spot. Blindingly obvious once it is pointed out and, yet, I still missed it.

Incredibly exciting to have the column back though!

Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 8:37 am

Hi Bobby,

Just to echo Jeff’s comments and delighted you’re back. Also a problem for you. Playing in a moderate pairs against quite weak oppo, you hold the following as dealer at adverse:

xxx None A8xx AKQxxx

You open 1C, LHO bids 1S, pard bids 5C, P, P and LHO, after squirming for a while bids 5S. 2 passes to you – now what?



Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 8:43 am

Hi again,

East could also have played the H9 at T3 and then West has to get it right if he has an Ace. Not so good if S has SAx and both minor suit aces, but it partner-proofs the defence today!


Robert LiptonMay 22nd, 2023 at 10:08 am


Steven ConradMay 22nd, 2023 at 11:49 am

What a pleasure to have you back. I wonder if the two week delay has been shelved, or if it will return.

Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 11:57 am

Hi Steve,

I managed to contact the website manager who told me that someone had left so they had to get somebody new in to load the hands. Hopefully they stay in the role for a decent length of time.



jim2May 22nd, 2023 at 12:09 pm


Steven ConradMay 22nd, 2023 at 12:12 pm

Ignore my comment. I promise to learn how to read numbers again. Back when I taught math, I could usually read numbers correctly. Now, not so much, it seems. OY.

Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 12:36 pm

Hi Steven,

It is Monday though, and you’ll remember from teaching days what the day was like!



bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 1:14 pm

Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the kind words.

I just this second (very early in the morning) was greeted by the return of the column to all of us, especially the ones who frequent our study, sturdy and loving group who make up our bloggers.

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 1:31 pm

Hi Iain,

Yes, allow one’s partner to cash an ace, but what if he doesn’t own one? As you suggested, might a fourth heart have a decent chance for declarer, after ruffing with the ace to have a serious thought about finessing the spade (based on the bidding).

Also, yes, but I only work (and play) here and do not have a method to insure the future against any unlucky or natural turn of events.
However much thanks to you for your ever present and always thoughtful and witty comments.

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 1:34 pm

Hi Robert,

I’ll join you with another hoorah!!!

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 1:37 pm

Hi Steve,

Just like playing our game, we need to keep our eyes and ears open if we want to always know what is going on.

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 1:41 pm

Hi Jim2,

Lucky you play bridge a whole lot better than you can spell happy thoughts, but why wouldn’t I already know about your vivid imagination before I criticize?

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 2:19 pm

Hi (again) Iain,

Sorry for my original under sight of your bridge question.

If 5 spades was bid by those feisty opponents, I would definitely take a flyer with 6 clubs.

1. I might be cold
2. I might make it, if it wasn’t cold
3, With a nasty surprise to everyone, 5 spades may either make or be lay down and not, from my hand, be as unusual, as bidding such as that, usually appears. However, while playing match points it is closer, but at rubber or IMPs, at least to me, I would definitely take the push to 6 clubs and hope someone other than my partnership, sleeps in the street.

Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 2:20 pm

Also, if West has S10xx, the H9 works even if South has Ax Jxx AKJxx Axx so maybe East was a touch unlucky here. West might even have had SQx at a pinch and North the CA when the H9 is again the killing defence. East has to buy the beer.


Iain ClimieMay 22nd, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Hi again Bobby,

Posts crossed but you’re in for a horrible shock either way I fear. I bottled out of bidding 6C expecting to lose at least 1 spade and something in diamonds while expecting partner to maybe have something in hearts, perhaps enough to beat 5S. The full hand (not sure what LHO was up to hiding those hearts)

LHO AKxxxx AQJxx Kx None

Part None 108xx Q109x J10xxx

RHO QJ109 (!!) K9xx (!) Jxx xx

6C is cold, so is 6S barring a heart ruff at T1 and 6H makes regardless. The trouble is that doubling 6S here isn’t Lightner given the competition.

Par is thus 7C X minus one over the oppo’s 6H or 6S unless partner is going to find that H lead vs 6S. The oppo might not have bid over 6C though so your judgement is looking much better than mine here!



bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 3:03 pm

Hi Iain,

At least to my limited view, when it comes to rating bridge players, at least to me at a high-
level, awareness at the table (minding one’s ethics) is a far better barometer than all the
sophisticated or not, knowing the exact percentages instead of just a normal expert amount.

Unlike chess, when apparently best should be measured with percentages only when the psychological possibility of knowing one’s opponent is apparent. Furthermore, at least to me, that fact alone is enough to establish bridge as the greatest mind game because of that what should be, treasured difference.

A V RAMANA RAOMay 22nd, 2023 at 4:46 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff and all bloggers
Big relief to see column back. And as many said,
” A Big Hurrah”

bobbywolffMay 22nd, 2023 at 8:07 pm


Hi Ho, hi ho, it’s back to work for you, I know. No time to say hello, good bye, for show.
Let’s prove it right, despite a fight, hi, ho, hi ho, let’s move the knight, all will be right, that game dimension, will need a mention, but why? I do not know.

Yes, your vacation is ovah, so start warming up in the clova.