Source: 16th European Junior Teams Bridge Championship

The last time I visited Vienna I inevitably found myself in one of the many cafes that are located in this magical City. Perusing the menu one item in particular caught my eye; it was listed under ‘Ice creams’. Can you guess what it was? No? It was the only possible choice:

The Vienna Coup

I had always planned to include an example of this, perhaps the best known of all the technical plays that have found their way into the bridge dictionary, in the first bulletin of these Championships. How appropriate that a perfect illustration occurred in the recent EC Junior Championships in Salsomaggiore. This was the layout: Dealer South. E/W GameIn the Open Room Sweden’s Thommy Johansson had opened the South hand with the ‘obvious’ weak two in hearts. That led to West declaring Three No-Trumps, which had no chance when North led his partner’s ‘suit’. (As an aside a heart lead is probably the right one on this hand. You might even try the king, catering for a singleton queen or jack.) In the Closed Room South surprisingly passed which led to the following auction: You can’t blame North for leading a heart, which made life easy when the trumps behaved, but the real interest lies in what would have happened on a spade lead. Declarer wins and has no alternative to playing trumps from hand. North wins and plays a second spade. When he comes in on the next round he exits with a spade to leave the following position:At this point anyone experiencing the delights of the Austrian capital for the first time would doubtless cash the ace of hearts, discard a diamond on the ace of spades and play the remaining trumps, discarding the queen of hearts from hand on the last one.The more frequent visitor, well able to digest more than one ice-cream, might prefer to discard a heart on the ace of spades and then cash the ace and king of diamonds. This time the ten of diamonds is thrown and once again North has no answer.