Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Monday, 13 May, 2024


David SnookMay 13th, 2024 at 5:15 pm

What a fun hand…

As far as I can reason it out, there’s only one way for South to make four hearts, and that’s to play East for the ace of diamonds?

As South, I would take the spade king with my ace and draw trump in two rounds. I would then try to discover the location of the missing spade honor, to help me gauge the possible whereabouts of the diamond ace. After taking the first spade trick, I know one of dummy’s remaining spades will be good, so after drawing trump I’d play a second spade and learn that the queen is with West.

And here’s my reasoning… seeing as West had both spade honors, if he, or she, also held the ace of diamonds, would they have a bid? But they didn’t, so I’m hoping the lone missing ace is with East. It doesn’t seem to matter much what West plays after getting on lead with the spade queen. Apart from East taking a diamond (if that’s what West plays next, which I would let come around to my king if East doesn’t play the ace) I can take any other trick with no problem.

What I want in the end is to end up leading a club into East’s hand and make them lead away from the diamond ace. I can’t see any other way to make four hearts.

I’d like to thank you for your ongoing feedback, Bobby. You’ve been incredibly generous with an upstart like me. Your site, and the hands you put up, are a wonderful learning tool. I really do come here every morning as I eat breakfast and try to puzzle out the solution to the day’s hand.

Thank you!

bobbywolffMay 13th, 2024 at 6:55 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for your very kind note and the strides you have made in trying to work yourself up the ladder of bridge learning.

Keep going in that direction and fortune will likely help you to become better and better, until, if not already, will make our beloved highly challenging
competition more fun every time you choose to first read about and then sit down to actually play.

Also, it is uplifting to hear from you and hope you continue to voice your
bridge travels and allow others to help you through, the rough spots.

Iain ClimieMay 13th, 2024 at 9:36 pm

Hi Bobby,

I agree West’s lead is risky but it works if East has the J (even the Ace) or if declarer tries a Batch coup with AJx pposite xxx (pard has 109x) and West switches. Yet anything could misfire although anything but a spade is right today. What if you led a trump, say, and declarer held HQJ10xx opposite dummy’s A9xxx. Up goes the Ace and down falls pard’s King. Partner’s reasonable minor suit holding could also get picked up all too easily. A nightmare.



Iain ClimieMay 13th, 2024 at 9:55 pm

Bath coup, sorry – and the “o” key is playing up.