Jeff Lehman

Two from Coup

That is, two overtricks from a trump coup.

This was Board 4 from a pairs event at a recent regional.

 
4
Both
West
N
North
6
QJ97642
104
A54
 
W
West
Q94
A103
AJ
KJ982
3
E
East
KJ73
8
Q632
Q1063
 
S
South
A10852
K5
K9875
7
 

 

W
West
N
North
E
East
S
South
1NT1
2
All Pass
 
(1) (15-17)

 

East seemed quite timid in the bidding, and neither opponent gave best defense, but, hey, if the opponents don’t make mistakes, how can we score well?  One wants to take advantage of the opportunities presented.

I won the 3 lead in dummy and immediately planned for a possible trump coup by trying to shorten my trump length to match that of West.  The first six tricks represented a black suit cross ruff: A, ruff second round of spades, A, ruff second round of clubs, ruff third round of spades, ruff third round of clubs.  I led a fourth round of spades from dummy while West discarded one of her two remaining clubs.

I have reached this position, with the lead in my hand (North).

 
4
Both
West
N
North
QJ97
104
 
W
West
A103
AJ
K
3
E
East
8
Q632
Q
 
S
South
10
K9875
 

I led the Q and West chose to win with the A and lead her last club.  When I ruffed the club small, I had finally reached trump length parity with West, each of us having two hearts.

A diamond from my hand presented West with no attractive choice: she was ultimately going to have to lead from her T3 into my J9.  I successfully finessed the 9 and had emerged with ten tricks, losing only two diamonds and the A, and having won eight combined trump tricks (six in hand, two in dummy), and two black aces.

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