Bridge

In the 1930s — the early days of con­tract bridge — Ely Cul­bert­son called de­clarer’s win­ning tech­nique in to­day’s deal the “coup with­out a name.”

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Frank Ste­wart

That seems a bit odd to me since the name by which we know it to­day is quite log­i­cal and de­scrip­tive.

At four hearts, South ap­pears to have only three losers. But when West leads the king of di­a­monds, East overtakes with the ace and shifts to his sin­gle­ton club.

De­clarer can see what East is up to. If de­clarer wins and leads a trump, East will take the ace, un­der­lead in di­a­monds to his part­ner’s queen and ruff the club re­turn for down one.

To pre­vent that, de­clarer must elim­i­nate West’s di­a­mond en­try. At the third trick, de­clarer overtakes his king of spades with the ace. When he re­turns dummy’s jack of spades and East’s queen cov­ers, de­clarer dis­cards his last di­a­mond, a loser on a loser to cut the de­fend­ers’ com­mu­ni­ca­tions. So South loses only three tricks.

South’s play is known to­day as a “scis­sors coup.”

Daily Ques­tion: You hold: & Q942h A32 ( AJ1094 $ 6. Both sides vul­ner­a­ble. The dealer, at your left, opens one heart. Your part­ner over­calls one spade, and the next player passes. What do you say?

An­swer: You have a po­tent hand. As­sum­ing part­ner hasn’t bid for no rea­son, game is sure and slam is pos­si­ble. A di­rect jump to four spades would be pre­emp­tive. You have strength-show­ing op­tions, in­clud­ing a cue bid of two hearts and a “splin­ter” jump to four clubs.

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