Phillip Alder
Phillip Alder

Source: ACBL: Phillip Alder is a columnist for The New York Times and a syndicated columnist for 22 years with United Feature Syndicate. His column appears in over 200 papers worldwide. He has also helped to produce the Daily Bulletins at various WBF Championships and is a member of the WBF Youth Committee. Alder is the Associate Editor of The Bridge World magazine.”

IMPs Dealer East. Both Vul

3
7 3 2
A J 10
10 8 7 5 4 2
K Q J 10 9 8 7 6
A K 4
3
9
West North East South
4 4
Pass Pass Pass

West leads the K.

You seem to have ten easy tricks: seven spades, two hearts and one diamond.

Could anything go wrong?

It is unlikely that East will ruff dummy´s A. But it is clear that West has a heart void. If you play a trump at trick two, West will surely be able to win with the ace, put his partner in with a club and ruff away a heart honor. Then a late heart loser will spell one down.

Is there a way to avoid the fatal ruff?

Yes. there is. At trick two, lead dummy’s J and discard your 9 from hand. You ruff West’s club switch and lead K. With this distribution, West will have to exit with a black suit to strop the overtrick. Your three losers will be one spade, one heart and one diamond, but no a club.

” This is called a Scissors Coup. Scissors Coup is a type of coup in bridge, so named because it cuts communications between defenders. By discarding a card or cards either from declarer’s hand or from dummy or both, declarer can stop them from transferring the lead between each other, usually to prevent a defensive ruff.”

Isn’t it great giving East-West a bad hair day?

The complete deal:

3
7 3 2
A J 10
10 8 7 5 4 2
A 5 4

K Q 9 8 5 2
K J 6 3
2
Q J 10 9 8 6 5
7 6 4
A Q
K Q J 10 9 8 7 6
A K 4
3
9

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