Source: IBPA Column Service OCT 2021

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

**Source: wikipedia. Tim Bourke “is an Australian bridge player and writer. His joint project with Justin Corfield “the Art of Declarer Play” won the International Bridge Press Book of the Year award in 2014.

IMPs Dealer South. N-S Vul

A K 8 6 4 2
A K 4
A 4
8 4
J 10
J 5 2
K 3
A K Q 10 7 2
West North East South
1
Pass 1 Pass 2
Pass 21 Pass 3
Pass 4NT Pass 5
Pass 7 End
  1. Bourke Relay

The auction saw North make a forcing Bourke Relay of two diamonds, discovering that North held six clubs and at most two spades. After a key-card enquiry of four-notrump North punted the grand slam in clubs, hoping that the spades could be established.

West led the 10. If clubs were three-two, declarer saw that he would make the contract by establishing tricks in spades with ruffs unless spades were five-zero. So, after winning the first trick with the king of hearts, declarer cashed his ace and king of trumps. When West discarded a diamond, the contract was suddenly in danger.

The only hope was a trump coup, which meant that declarer needed to ruff two cards in hand to reduce his trump length to match East’s length there. Thus, declarer led the jack of spades at trick four. West covered with the queen and declarer made no mistake: he took the ace-king of spades and ruffed a spade in hand, East discarding a heart. Now South crossed to dummy with a heart to the ace, relieved to see East follow suit.

Next declarer played an established spade. As it would be hopeless to ruff, East discarded a diamond and declarer threw the jack of hearts from hand. Declarer next ruffed a heart in hand, with East discarding a second diamond. Now declarer was almost home: he cashed the king and ace of diamonds to reduce everyone to two cards. A spade from dummy saw East ruff with the nine of trumps and declarer overruffed with the ten. The queen of trumps was declarer’s thirteenth trick.

Wikipedia: The trump coup is a contract bridge coup used when the hand on lead (typically the dummy) has no trumps remaining, while the next hand in rotation has only trumps, including a high one that would have been onside for a direct finesse if a trump could have been led. The play involves forcing that hand to ruff, only to be overruffed. A similar motive is met in coup en passant, where indirect finesse is used instead of direct.

The complete deal:

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

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