Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, 13 October, 2023


Jeff SerandosOctober 13th, 2023 at 3:32 am

Shouldn’t North be declarer today?


Shantanu RastogiOctober 13th, 2023 at 7:36 am

Hi Jeff

You are right. On given bidding North is declarer and heart J lead kills the contract. But if South is declarer another line is possible. Ruff out diamonds and run the Trumps. West can pitch two hearts and a d easily on last Trump he has to unguarded either spades or hearts. Declarer has to read cards well if west bares heart king.


Shantanu Rastogi

bobbywolffOctober 13th, 2023 at 12:54 pm

Hi, especially Jeff but also Shantanu,

How dare you be 100% right and break up the game I was playing with my readers. I, of course knew that all the time, but wanted to test everyone’s awareness.

Or would you prefer that, this hand really came up, but the lead out of turn was condoned.

Take your choice, since neither was correct and I have sinned, will usually never admit it, but please do not take me to bridge court to let others know both my ineptness and how easily I could have corrected it, my most often excuse.

Shantanu, thanks for coming to my aid with your brilliancy, another method by me of lionizing a good friend and never wrong bridge analyst, par excellent, not to mention superior. (but somehow, in this case, also true)!.

Iain ClimieOctober 13th, 2023 at 5:33 pm

Hi Bobby,

A stray query from last night which is also relevant to the chat on 4th highest the other day. You’re in 1N (12-14) passed out and LHO leads the C6. Dummy has J5 opposite your 9842. How would you maximise the chances of a defensive blockage here or won’t it make any difference?



bobbywolffOctober 13th, 2023 at 6:01 pm

Hi Iain,

Definitely play low, catering to the 10 coming back. Especially while playing a low level
contract where the defensive strength figures to be mixed. No so much “blocked” but rather
catering to 3rd seat not playing the ten at trick one, but rather his highest one.

It will usually only make a difference if 3rd seat has the ten and doesn’t play it.

Iain ClimieOctober 13th, 2023 at 7:13 pm

Hi Bobby,

Exactly what I did but maybe I should have said LHO was a newbie and had taken the sometimes right advice (4th highest etc) at exactly the wrong moment. She had CAKQ6 and the Grosvener Gambit struck big time! Naturally I thought putting the J up would make the life easier for the defence – wrong again. Partner TBF saw the funny side.

One for the TOCM scrapbook perhaps?



bobbywolffOctober 14th, 2023 at 4:13 am

Hi again,

Another victory for what most of us learned when we first sat down (and its been recently
confirmed right here). Everyone’s apparent choice of 4th best.