Source: The Southeast Missourian – 3 Dic 1984

When you have some length in the opponent’s trump, a good strategy is to force the declarer to trump. Eventually he may have shorter trump length than you do. Although this defense is usually obvious it can even be right in circumstances not so readily apparent.

Dealer South None Vul

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

Opening lead: K

West passed over South’s 1NT opening bid. He thought his six-card diamond suit would be good to lead against no-trump, and he did not wish to risk a vulnerable overcall with a suit that was far from being solid. Against four spades, he led the king and ace of diamonds. East showed three cards by playing the five and then the eight. Since West knew that his partner could not have any other high cards, he continued with a third round of the suit. Note the devastating effect of this defense.

South could trump in either his hand or the dummy. In either case, West would hold off winning the first and second spades led. Because South cannot play a third spade without lossing control of the hand (West would win the ace and force declarer to ruff  with his last trump), declarer would now be compelled to play on the side suits. In time West would ruff either a club or heart with a small spade to set the contract.

Remember this defensive tactic. When the declarer is playing a suit contract and has no outside losers, try forcing him to trump. A sluff and a ruff won’t help him if his side-suit cards are all high, and he may lose control of the trump suit.