Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, 25 September, 2023


bobbywolffSeptember 25th, 2023 at 1:20 pm

Hi Everyone,

Robert Darvas’ “Right Through The Pack” should or could have been the home for at least two of East’s 742 of trump, making them slam beating heroes (together with West’s lowly 6, to live forever in bridge lore).

And only once did they win a trick, but what a masterful job they did. Furthermore, even for beginners (but ones who are quite interested in getting more involved).

While this hand is special, it only emphasizes the value of trump to both declarer, but especially to the defense when, and if (the biggest factor) he or she sees fit to brazenly use it to maximum advantage (spade holding is the tell).

Furthermore, if lucky (and sensational enough for EW to be defending this way), there are many “needles” available to congratulate themselves, only one of them, after East steps in to ruff West’s spade trick by claiming he was only discarding what he thought was an unimportant card on the spade trick, but fortunately it worked out well, when he continued that suit.

Iain ClimieSeptember 25th, 2023 at 2:08 pm

Hi Bobby,

South should ditch the S8 under the Ace to make life harded for East as West’s S6 then could hold. Of course East should get this right but….



bobbywolffSeptember 25th, 2023 at 2:41 pm

Hi Iain,

Thanks for taking, as usual, a practical approach to allow partner to not show the world
how unsuited he is to high-level bridge, and instead measure up, at the very least, as capable of holding his own. To do less, should not cause us to waste much time worrying about it as we have our own fish to fry in first trying to be the best we can, and, at the very least, always from the worst to the best, trying to improve.

However, fun is fun and will always have a resting spot to share with all of us.

jim2September 25th, 2023 at 6:31 pm

Iain –

I would fear that pitching the 8S would be an alarm bell that might wake East up.

Robert LiptonSeptember 25th, 2023 at 6:50 pm

Iain, I thought about that too, and came to the same conclusion as Jim2. If you wish to snooker east, the way to do it would be to play a high trump at trick one, and then lead the S8 off the board; this looks more natural.

Of course, the percentage gain from playing it that way is very small, calling for west to be smart and east not, clearly a pickup pair from the partnership desk. Overall, unless you know them, it’s probably better to play them for mediocrity, with West putting up the 9 and East not seeing the need to ruff.

Bob Lipton

bobbywolffSeptember 25th, 2023 at 7:27 pm

Hi Iain, Jim2 & Bob,

No doubt that no one is going to not go to ethical and actual extremes in order to share
the winning side on every hand dealt and because of that competitive instinct. our real game of bridge has grown, improved, and always provides a great challenge.

Sorry for the difficulty by some, of not delving deeper into our glorious history, with tales
of brilliance thanks to clear thinking partnerships. And, by that comment, I am assuming
that both partner’s stay with either the play or defense, whichever they are dealt, giving their utmost to play both ethically and top drawer, if for no other reason, than to continue to honor the game we all love.

No doubt we are never going to succeed every time, but try we must, since, like all honest competitions, the glory in doing so, needs to be earned, not just given away, as an attendance prize.

My guess is that during the first day in heaven, thee will be a tough game of bridge (perhaps many tables) there for all to show off their skills, causing us all to practice, practice, practice, before we arrive there. And even hope and think that TOCM will be a thing of the past, never to rise again, but if so, don’t be at all surprised for Jim2 to dominate.

Iain ClimieSeptember 25th, 2023 at 8:41 pm

Hi Jim2, Bob,Bobby,

Thanks for the extra thoughts and possible low cunning involved.