Like chess, bridge has an opening, middle, and end game. An end game situation arise when a defender ( or it can be the declarer) is forced to make a disadvantageous lead or play. There are four main types of end play, conventionally classified as follows.

Throw-in:  Where a defender is forced to lead into a tenace.

Elimination:  Where a defender has the choice, in a trump contract, of leading into a tenace or making a play that allows declarer to ruff in one hand while he discards a loser from the other.

Trump Coup: Where a defender’s trump tricks are curtailed or made to disappear altogether.

Squeeze: Where owing to pressure of space a defender is forced to discard a potential winner.

The Trump Coup:

  Spade SuitK 6
Heart Suit 9 8 2
Diamond Suit K Q 8 6
club suit A Q 6 4
 
Spade Suit 7
Heart Suit A K 10 6 3
Diamond Suit J 8 3 2
club suit J 5 3
  Spade Suit J 9 5 3
Heart Suit Q 7 4
Diamond Suit A 10 5
club suit 10 9 2
  Spade Suit A Q 10 8 4 2
Heart Suit J 5  
Diamond Suit 7 4
club suit K 8 7
 

Dealer: North;  Love all

West
North
East
South
Pass  1Diamond Suit
Pass 1Spade Suit
Pass 2club suit
Pass  3Spade Suit
Pass 4Spade Suit Pass Pass
Pass      

Lead: Heart SuitK

The defence will probably begin with three rounds of hearts, South ruffs the third round, plays spade to the Spade SuitK and spade to the Spade SuitA, on wich West shows out.

Now South plays a diamond to the Diamond SuitK,  East wins with the Diamond SuitA and returns Diamond Suit10 to dummyDiamond SuitQ. The position is:

  Spade Suit
Heart Suit
Diamond Suit 9 6
club suit A Q 6 4     
 
Spade Suit
Heart Suit 10 
Diamond Suit J 8 
club suit J 5 3          
  Spade Suit J 9 
Heart Suit
Diamond Suit 5
club suit 10 9 2          
  Spade Suit Q 10 8         
Heart Suit  
Diamond Suit
club suit K 8 7
 

The lead is in dummy and at this point declarer must lead a diamond and ruff in order to reduce his trumps to the same number as East’s.

He follows with three rounds of clubs, finishing in dummy; there is a danger that East will ruff, but that chance has to be taken. When East follows to the clubs the lead is in dummy at trick 12, and declarer makes the last two tricks by way of a trump coup.

Photo credit: Martin Zhao & Jacob Freeman By Johnatan Steinberg