Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, 3 February, 2024


David SnookFebruary 3rd, 2024 at 8:45 pm


What a terrific quote, Bobby!

I’m writing that one down and keeping it in a safe place.

Looking at that hand, and looking, and looking some more…

The only way I could see to make four spades here was to take the opening heart eight in dummy with the king and then play the spade queen. If East doesn’t cover with the trump king and the queen takes the trick, I now know East has all the missing trump and I keep leading trump from the dummy. But involves the risk of West having the trump king. If West were to take dummy’s trump with the king, West can immediately lead a heart and give East a chance to trump my higher heart.

If I now know that East has all the missing trump, I want to immediately cross back to dummy via the diamond ace, play another trump to my hand, and then pull East’s final trump.

I can now safely play my hearts and remaining low trump to make four spades.

It’s not exactly easy to find that path even when you can see all four hands and at the table, with no clues, I have no idea how I would suss that sequence out.

Neither East nor West bid anything, so there’s no information there. The only logic I can come up with is that there’s no other path to follow, especially if East drops the heart queen on the first trick. That serves as a red flag for South, no? But then, how would one know to play the heart king right off the top? But if I don’t drop the heart king on the first trick and then play the spade queen next, I don’t think I can make my bid. I need to be able to play trump twice from hand, right?

Should I assume that if West has the trump king that I’m doomed anyways? But suppose West has a singleton trump king that I could take playing my ace?

And if East ducks whatever spade I play (should I choose to not play the queen) I’m still left hoping that East can’t overtrump me. It seems like there’s a certain act of faith involved here.

Am I missing something?

As usual, I haven’t looked at the explanation yet. What would be the fun in that?

bobbywolffFebruary 3rd, 2024 at 9:16 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for your very thoughtful views with first the quote, and then the complexity of the necessary bridge for success.

My guess is that after looking at the explanation, it will only be no surprise to you and a general uplift for you and whomever else feels the same about the beauty of the game we all love to play.

Yes, at leas to me, the quote is tied to the education necessary for many of us to reach our potential, whether it be alone in bridge or rather, the whole broad aspects of living better lives for only just playing our, at times, very challenging competition.

At any rate, thanks for your view and taking the time to write it. YOU MADE MY DAY!