Eric Kokish
Eric Kokish

Wikipedia: Eric O. Kokish (born 1947) is a Canadian professional bridge player, writer, and coach from Montreal. Kokish graduated from McGill University.

Kokish has been the coach of Nick Nickell’s professional team for many years. He first worked as coach for the Brazil national team in 1985 and later coached the Indonesia team briefly, a stint interrupted by political unrest in Jakarta. Around the Indonesia job he and his family relocated from Montreal to Toronto.

Kokish was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 2011. Kokish was inducted into the Canadian Bridge Federation’s Hall of Fame.

IMPs Dealer North. N/S Vul

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

The auction shows the modern style strong jump shift in a favorable light (quite a bit lighter than the traditional variety; typically a hand that can’t take control).

South was able to show his strength and one suited orientation with his second bid. North’s 2 call showed a concentration in spade. His 5 showed concern with the red suits and South had just the right hand to bid the good slam.

West started with the K and low diamond to the ace. Declarer ruffed, and cashed the A and K west followed with the 10 and discarded the 2. Take over.

The trump break is bad luck, but you have already been shortened and will have no trouble making the hand by crossing to dummy twice in spades to ruff diamonds, then once in club to continue spades, catching East in a trump coup. As these things go, this one is not particularly difficult.

But there is much more to bridge than a good technique. To give you an idea of what happen at the bridge table, consider what transpired in real life. The declarer, who shall remain nameless but whose dummy play takes a back seat to no one’s lost his focus for the moment, dropped his cards on the table in disgust when he saw the bad trump break, and conceded one down!

The opponents at the other table did not bid this slam and so picked up 13 IMPs instead of losing a similar bundle.

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

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