Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Thursday, 25 April, 2024


Iain ClimieApril 25th, 2024 at 12:23 pm

Hi Bobby,

As you say, declarer picked a poor line of play but what if dummy had held SA10x? An obvious line then is to play for S3-2 and H no worse than 4-2 by taking CA, H to Q, maybe (or actually maybe not) DAKQ SK, S to 10 then ruff a heart high if trumps are 3-2, spade back to Ace, run hearts and finish with diamonds. All goes horribly wrong today but I’d be interested in which is the better line if we were to grind through the statistics.

As dummy didn’t have the S10 this is all academic of course, but it is a reminder that sometimes extra options are a bad idea. Imagine you’re in 3N with Qx in the suit led opposite Ax(x) – no choice, so no problem. Now give dummy Q10 alone…. Worse still are cases where dummy has Q9 and LHO has reasonably led from J10xx(x). The odds are clearly in favour of playing the Q but have bitten us in the backside yet again. Still, where would bridge players be between sessions or in the bar or restaurant afterwards without such horror stories.



bobbywolffApril 25th, 2024 at 2:26 pm

Hi Iain,

Your comments on today’s hand are especially appreciated by me since you deal with all the meaningful choices with an instructor like personality, sifting through the choices and, more importantly to me, stopping off to categorize when judgment is called for or just being plainly automatic, complete with classic examples.

Of course, the possession of the 10 of trumps, makes for an entirely different type of thinking and without me repeating you, is very well discussed, including a very important main function, especially in declarer’s play, of often determining, especially by a talented
player, what he (or she) thinks is a more likely road to success.

IOW, an excellent study in just one of the wonders, most of us totally enjoy, while pursuing
our #1 hobby.

And finally a clear choice (with me avoiding to rate your chances on one or the other) the bar, rather than with food, is a better venue, since what they sell there is almost certain
to be of more value, at least, in paying attention to the specific bridge choices.