Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, 9 September, 2023


jim2September 9th, 2023 at 1:36 am

BWTA — “If partner has four spades …”


Robert LiptonSeptember 9th, 2023 at 12:11 pm

At rubber, some people would hold up the Ace. At IMPs people would hold it up. At Match Points, you may have just given away a Top when declarer holds AK Qxx Qxxxx Kxx

Bob Lipton

bobbywolffSeptember 9th, 2023 at 12:55 pm

Hi Jim2,

Why not play Flattery or whatever one might call it, but many take offense at even mentioning that possibility? Shame on you for going against what the intelligent very good players all play.

Oh well, though we continue to praise that treatment, the stubborn ones of us
who dislike it, continue to suffer without it.

Live and learn, learn and live, “you can take that person to water, but you can’t make him drink”.

Jim2, you are also unlucky in what others know what you like and, of course, not! You need to speak up.

bobbywolffSeptember 9th, 2023 at 1:10 pm

Hi Bob,

You have just described the difference in bridge scoring which, at least IMO, makes IMPs far and away, the better and much fairer scoring system, which is much closer to what our game represents, than any of its tributaries.

So much so, that whatever bridge game he might be playing, again IMO, the defense of ducking the two heart plays early, is the right way to go, so much so, that when someone does not, it is because he did not realize the advantage, or he would have, in a New York minute.

Thanks for bringing up that subjecct.

bobbywolffSeptember 9th, 2023 at 1:23 pm

Hi again,

And, of course, Jim2 would have ducked those two hearts and then find out the declarer’s hand is the one Bob depicted, which only relates to the extra c, I mistakenly used, to spell subject.

jim2September 9th, 2023 at 7:03 pm

Preach it!

Iain ClimieSeptember 9th, 2023 at 7:57 pm

Hi Folks,

Give that North’s slam try is pushy to say the least, how many pairs will be in 6N? If few, aren’t we better off trying to beat the slam despite the risk of an overtrick?



Robert LiptonSeptember 9th, 2023 at 9:33 pm

While I prefer IMPs like Bobby, I’m sure Barry Crane would have disagreed. They’re three different sorts of games.

The calculation of whether to try to beat 6NT or hold it is a fraught one. Say a quarter of the players get there. Is declarer someone who can recognize a squeeze when he or she has managed it? Is partner going to lead a Spade when he has two minor-suit leads that look reasonably safe AND take advantage of potential bidding misjudgment? What are the odds that the hand is even beatable versus the chance that it’s cold and he’s simply going for the always-valuable overtrick?

Sometimes even Mrs. Guggenheim stumbles into a slam she can’t go down in. You might be better off against Futile Willy.

Bob Lipton

Iain ClimieSeptember 10th, 2023 at 10:36 am

Hi Bob,

I love the SJ Simon references and those characters are still relevant today – as are Mollo’s menagerie of course.


bobbywolffSeptember 10th, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Hi again Bob,

Yes and no doubt Barry Crane insisted, while at the bridge table, to engage one or both of his opponents into personal bridge confrontations. He, like most other winning players, was very aggressive and preferred for his well informed partners to allow him, if possible, to engage their foes, and if so, with a competitive hand, give him much leverage to allow the final decision on the hand (bid one more or not) without too much reliance on the soundness of his competition, IOW, almost always, making him the captain and final decision maker on how high to compete.

Being a highly respected Hollywood movie director fit well with his beloved bridge playing pass time, as he devoured being the final decision maker in both ventures.