Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Saturday, 11 May, 2024


Shantanu RastogiMay 11th, 2024 at 11:01 am

Hello Bobby Sir

If east returns C Q after winning spade I think squeeze is broken as vital entry to dummy goes and declarer is locked in hand. West can discard all the hearts as declarer has no hearts to end play east.


Shantanu Rastogi

bobbywolffMay 11th, 2024 at 2:16 pm

Hi Shantanu & friends,

And perhaps East should come to the aid of his partnership by doing just as you suggest, enabling this hand to be a treasure trove of high level inferences and then performance.

It is doubtful that Hilaire had bridge in mind when she described what it takes to keep a child in tow, but she would probably be flattered to have her masterpiece mean more than even she expected. And to you, thanks for adding even more truth to this little ditty of what
many might think was just another boring 3NT, and, for all of us, with the myriad happenings, bridge to ponder, to give the readers more to think about.
bridge to ponder.

A V Ramana RaoMay 11th, 2024 at 4:54 pm

Hi Dear Mr Wolff
Read Shantanu’s comment belatedly. This hand intrigued me a bit and I thought that there should be a winning line. Declarer can be fairly certain that the heart honors are split as with both honors, east must have opened one NT and not one diamond . So he is playing doubledummy virtually. Wins the club Q in hand and runs spades discarding hearts from hand reducing to four card position ( after five spades, three diamonds and a club) . Dummy will be left with three hearts and K of clubs, south A of heart, one diamond and two clubs . East three hearts and a club . West must retain two clubs and a diamond so his heart Q is bare. Now south can cash heart A, cross to K of clubs stripping east of club exit and lead heart . East can opt to win or duck but south gets tenth trick in hearts. This squeeze is unusual with west triple squeezed in crisscross position in two suits. If he lets a diamond go to retain two hearts, south enters with heart to cash diamond and if he lets a club go dummy cashes club K and south enters heart for cashing club. The critical inference that east is 4432 and play of ducking second spade . If south continues spades and hands over spade to east, he doesn’t have any play after club return from east as entries are messed up. Perhaps Ottlik and Kelsey would have been glad to enter this hand in one of the adventures . Hope I have not missed something

bobbywolffMay 11th, 2024 at 7:02 pm


Declarer cannot be100% sure that East doesn’t have the KQ of hearts, of course depending on the exact point count range for their 1NT opening, but otherwise you pass muster with flying colors.

Yes, this would make for a wonderful example of both knowing (or highly expecting) specific card combinations to be where they are and then exercising the correct play
to get the job done (ducking the second spade is the coup de grace or close) and is indicative of allowing bridge to be the superior game we know it is. That is, if this hand has not already been used before to show declarer brilliance and, to my knowledge, it has not.

And, to answer a possible phantom bridge question you might ask, the only thing you night have missed is the opportunity to have written about expert bridge.