Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Wednesday, 15 May, 2024


Iain ClimieMay 15th, 2024 at 11:26 am

HI Bobby,

Going back to yesterday’s hand for a moment, you warned of the risk of running off a long suit and squeezing your own hand. Many years ago, playing in a casual lunchtime office rubber game, I partnered a keen but weak player whom we nicknamed the Gerbil. He had a lemming moment here.

He opened 1C on KQx QJx KQJ K9xx (weak NT), I raised to 3C (limit) and RHO bid 3S. He bid 3N ending matters and a spade was led through dummy’s Ax xx 109xx AJ10xx. He won in hand and decided to play a club to the 10 (CK first might have been better and DK first better yet) which lost to the CQ (Qx in fact) and that player played another spade. A D now is still sensible but no, he ran off the clubs before putting on an anguished expression (think Wile-E-Coyote when he realises he has walked several paces off a cliff but gravity is yet to operate) as the last one hit the deck and he had to unguard hearts, dump a diamond honour or jettison the SK. I was less than amused and said so (this was 40 years ago when I wasn’t exactly civilised at the table) then he did something similar a few days later. Nobody learns from experience except that nobody learns from experience?

I may have posted this before tbf but I thought it might still amuse people



bobbywolffMay 15th, 2024 at 2:06 pm

Hi Iain,

It sometimes is quite difficult to judge different player’s potential worth, generally because, the nature of their opposition will almost 100% of the time, become mandatory to determine at what level, they have reached.

While almost everyone would greatly appreciate to be those who could perform best while under pressure from their opponents, you and your
opposition would (and should) seek to be judged by how much fun was it,
for you to play among players who put having a good time first, everything else, relatively tied for last.

Iain ClimieMay 15th, 2024 at 3:56 pm

Hi Bobby,

I’m not sure the luckless Gerbil thought he was laying for fun after my reaction. One of the politer parts rhymed with “Oh for Duck’s Sake” I’m sorry to say. I gave up yelling at partners years ago, though. It doesn’t improve matters and, if you want to win, makes that less likely. I also had to give one (really nice) old guy CPR at a club once which did put things rather in perspective. Mind you, under my breath, I asked myself what his partner had bid or possibly led.



bobbywolffMay 15th, 2024 at 7:07 pm

Hi Iain,

Since “Oh for Suck’s sake” sometimes referred to drinking after someone
who had a caching malady, who wanted to date my lady, in spite of the old guy, who after his CPR, became a czar and lived ever after happily, but always had his way at the bridge table until he enjoyed having all thirteen and thought that became an edge, by protecting self against reneging.

jim2May 15th, 2024 at 8:02 pm

Note that declarer is well advised to win the AD on the second round if East follows with the JD.

bobbywolffMay 15th, 2024 at 9:25 pm

Hi Jim2,

It all depends on the meaning of “well advised”. If table and possibly TV coverage is strong, is it more important to make the winning play or, the exciting other choice of the non-finesse.

Only kidding by presenting the above choice, but give our game its glory
by just thinking about attempted, smooth larceny. Similarly it is about the same as a man kissing his beloved, it is not necessarily the deed which gains attention, but rather the thought, that goes with.