Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, 28 November, 2023


Robert LiptonNovember 28th, 2023 at 5:56 pm

Since the game can only be made is the DK is inside,p with the suit split 3/2, what about a safety play of DA at trick 2, which also guards against the King being singleton offside?

Bob Lipton

bobbywolffNovember 28th, 2023 at 6:16 pm

Hi Bob,

A good addendum to what has been said up to now. So good, that it would require (at least a few hours, but possibly a few days) to figure out its effect. Making the word “good” have
a different (or, at least, an added dimension).

However, safely, I can congratulate you on your wanting to explore extra avenues, allowing
our beautiful game to become an arithmetical powerhouse, or a giant nuisance, depending
on one’s mood.

Why don’t you, who enjoys challenges? Nominations? Someone? Anyone?

jim2November 28th, 2023 at 6:48 pm

West opened 2H in second seat (not first seat and not third seat after an East Pass) vulnerable. West did so with a suit that lacked the AK (since he did not lead them).

The odds thus seem to heavily favor at least one decent high card outside the heart suit. The only candidate seems to be the KD, especially since the 10S lead lacking the 9S seems to deny the QS.

The diamond finesse seems the clear favorite.

David SnookNovember 28th, 2023 at 6:52 pm


So let me try this!

As declarer, I take the spade ten w/ one of dummy’s honors and then play a club to the table’s queen, followed by a diamond back to the dummy’s queen and I get lucky. The diamond king is not w/ East. I kind of guesstimated on that one, seeing as West did open the bidding with a weak 2 hearts.

I next play dummy’s diamond ace, reducing my opponents to one trump, the king w/ West. More luck… a 3-2 trump split, as opposed to 4-1.

So far so good…

Then I play one of the dummy’s club honors, and follow that with a low club covered by East with the club nine or ten. I, in turn, trump East’s higher club w/ the table’s remaining diamond and present West with a dilemma.

Does West cover my trump with the king, or let me take that trick? Either choice doesn’t seem to work for West. If West decides to not take that trick and hold the diamond king, would the low spade West is holding get tossed? If so West is now down to hearts and the diamond king.

If West overtrumps me, West is in a similar predicament, w/ nothing left but hearts and a low spade. And it doesn’t seem to matter which hand (West or East) takes that trick.

I can take either a spade or heart trick in dummy and then lead out clubs.

Let’s say West holds his diamond king. I, from the table, now play a heart, and it doesn’t matter if East or West takes that trick. West, in the end, can take one more trick w/ the diamond king and that’s it.

Does that scheme work?

(I haven’t looked at your explanation yet, Bobby… where would the fun in that be?)

bobbywolffNovember 28th, 2023 at 9:55 pm

Hi David,

Yes, by all means that scheme works, but I surmised that we had already agreed on that line of play (with immaterial tiny differences) to be the clear way to scoring it up.

Sorry for the delay, but this is my first opportunity to refer back. These are the types of hands viewed to round off good player’s need to perform adequately, nothing out of the ordinary, but always directly on target (finessing the queen of diamonds, not the ten).

To take on a much more difficult task, might be the so-called play of the ace of diamonds first, meant as a safety play against a possible singleton king with East. It might or might or
might not work, but when normalcy is in the mix and perfection is calling, but with much reservation, it seems categorically incorrect to think long and hard about choosing it. However, this is not to say that it is wrong, only that it will require much nerve and effort
to risk trying to figure it out, before accepting a yes feverishly, and then going set because
of it not tuming out favorably.

However. I realize that others may rightfully disagree with the above thought process and I admit that they may be right, but only that by doing so, may not be the right percentage line.