THE NEA BRIDGE by Phillip Alder
NOTE WHEN DUMMY HAS STRONG TRUMPS
This week we have been looking at various uses for the trump suit. Here is one more, a technique that arises rarely, but is fun to execute when it does.
South is in four spades. West leads the heart two, a known singleton. How should declarer plan the play?
North’s two-heart cue-bid raise showed at least three-card spade support and a maximum initial pass. South, who expected the heart finesse to work and liked having a singleton, jumped to four spades.
If the bidding had been perfect, North-South would have reached three no-trump, which has nine top tricks: five spades, two hearts (with the aid of the finesse), one diamond and one club.
Here, declarer is faced with four losers: two hearts and two clubs. He has only those nine top tricks just listed. Is there any hope?
Whenever declarer has a short suit and dummy’s trumps are strong, he should consider a dummy reversal. He takes ruffs in his own hand and uses dummy’s trumps to remove the opponents’.
South takes the first trick, plays a diamond to dummy’s ace, ruffs a diamond in his hand, leads a trump to dummy and ruffs another diamond in hand. Then declarer overtakes his spade queen with dummy’s king, ruffs the last diamond with his spade ace, crosses to dummy with a club to the ace, draws West’s final trump and takes his second heart winner.
Declarer’s 10 tricks are three spades in the dummy, the heart ace-queen, the diamond ace, the club ace and those three diamond ruffs in his hand.