Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, 23 September, 2023


A V Ramana RaoSeptember 23rd, 2023 at 9:21 am

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Perhaps declarer could have succeeded even on another plan too. Probably west did not start with singleton club else he would have led it. Assuming west has at least doubleton club, after ruffing lead in dummy, south cashes A of clubs, leads trump to dummy’s ten and ruffs club high. Enters dummy with spade J and ruffs another club high. Discards dummy’s low diamond on heart, leads diamond to dummy, draws trumps and dummy is good. He doesn’t need heart winners in hand

jim2September 23rd, 2023 at 12:10 pm

I think the declarer wanted a line that — because of the preempt –did not depend on a 3-2 trump break. Ruffing in both hands runs that risk.

A V Ramana RaoSeptember 23rd, 2023 at 1:18 pm

Hi Jim2
If trumps are 1-4 , the crisscross squeeze doesn’t operate either . So, declarer needs trumps 3-2

bobbywolffSeptember 23rd, 2023 at 2:24 pm

Hi AVRR & Jim2,

The one hand presented obviously occurred, but lo and behold, all adverse distribution did not appear, but nevertheless an intelligent discussion just in case it did.

Short of mathematical diatribe destined to defeat one line or another, we, the listener, plus both of you, become emotionally involved with discussing lines of play which don’t work.

We all know how that will occur with Jim2 (TOCM), so my fix, in order to keep him out of the bridge loony bin, is, for now on, just to assume that crucial bad breaks are 100% to occur, therein making this whole discussion valuable.

God is in his heaven, all’s right with the world. And to AVRR, since only a 4-1 division in trumps is relatively good luck for Jim2 when he declares, what else is new? Jim2 obviously thought someone else might be declarer, not him.

jim2September 23rd, 2023 at 4:28 pm


West could have held 754 of clubs or spades could have been 4-1.

Jeff SerandosSeptember 23rd, 2023 at 5:53 pm

Hi Bobby,

Interesting hand and discussion. If North does show his void and bid the grand slam, West, alerted to the void, does not lead the AH. I would lean to the QD unless I wanted to follow the general advice to lead a trump against a grand slam.

After the QD lead, South has to count on the 3-2 split, but I don’t think either of the two column lines would land the slam. It looks to me like South’s only chance would be to follow AVRR’s line and ruff the clubs good.

I am not wading into which line is best for 6S, but for 7S – is the above correct?



bobbywolffSeptember 23rd, 2023 at 6:10 pm

Hi Jeff,

While not delving deep into line of play percentages, I do agree with AVRR and of course then you, as to AVRR’s line for scoring up the grand. And it also appears that there are no harsh realities other than trump 3-2 and clubs no worse than 4-2 to make it happen.

The only original thought I may have concerns itself with the concentration necessary, while at the table, so and almost above all, there should never be
a bridge hand (not exactly like chess, but I do not know that history) which
takes an infinite amount of time (say 20 to 25 full minutes). IOW, if not so, the game will just become too tedious for other potential bridge giants to bother
taking it up.