BRIDGE

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - PUZZLES - with DOU­GLAS NEW­LANDS

This hand oc­curred in a re­cent ses­sion at the club and the auc­tion was sim­ple. South hav­ing only four or five losers, af­ter an open­ing bid which shows seven losers, and had an easy raise to game. West led the 2C. South could see ten tricks in the form of two di­a­mond tricks and a di­a­mond ruff, one club and one heart trick and five trump tricks if they could be held to one loser. East won the first trick with the AC and re­turned a small club. The third di­a­mond is not a loser, since it will be ruffed, so it is clear to dis­card a heart. De­clarer then played a trump to the ace and found the bad news that there ap­peared to be two trump losers. Since there was no way of avoid­ing the heart loser, de­clarer has to end­play West in trumps to avoid two trump losers. The pri­or­ity in this kind of play is for de­clarer to re­duce their trump length to the same as that of the de­fender by tak­ing some ruffs. So de­clarer needs two ruffs. Only one of th­ese can be a club ruff be­cause East re­turned a small club show­ing an orig­i­nal hold­ing of two or four cards.

Pairs, Both vul, Dealer South

Also, West played the JC and not the 9C or 10C so the club po­si­tion is clear and de­clarer has only one club ruff and needs one heart ruff. So play a di­a­mond to the KD and ruff a club. Then play AD and ruff a di­a­mond and come off ta­ble with a heart to the KH. West will prob­a­bly take this and re­turn a heart to the QH. Now, ruff the last heart and with only three cards re­main­ing the only trumps left are:

Now sim­ply exit with ei­ther the JS or 9S and, af­ter win­ning that trick, West is forced to lead away from the other hon­our. This re­duces the trump losers to just one and the con­tract makes. The trump end­play is one method of deal­ing with bad trump splits but de­clarer must re­alise the ur­gency of re­duc­ing their trump length to be the same as that of the de­fender.

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