Dealer North. E/W Vul
|Q 10 6 5 2
A K J 10
|K J 8 3
Q J 8
Q 10 4 3 2
9 8 7 3 2
A K 9 6
K 9 6 5 4 2
Q 5 2
Opening lead: 3
Bidding commentary: As South, your 2bid shows six hearts with a weak hand, typically 6-9 HCP. Perfect. You could conceivably have five hearts, but they must be strong. (See yesterday’s column) As North, with just 14 HCP, you have no place to go and should be happy to have found a likely eight-card fit. Pass 2.
Lead commentary: As West, Looking at a natural trump trick that will be lost if you ruff a diamond, a singleton lead is usually counterproductive.
Defensive commentary: As East, win the K and cash the ace. noticing partner’s play of the 2, indicating a five card-suit – or a doubleton. If partner has a doubleton club, declarer has five clubs to go along with six hearts. Not likely.
Assume South has a doubleton club and partner has five clubs. Glancing at the dummy, never too bad an idea, it looks right to shift to the A, followed by the 4. As West, if partner leads the A, encourage with the 8.
When partner continues with a second spade, win the king and lead a third spade. As East, ruff the third spade with the 10, an effort to uppercut declarer.
Your uppercut works! Declarer has to overruff with the king and partner now has two trump tricks instead of one. The contract is defeated. The defense takes two clubs, two spades and two hearts. Play commentary: As South, if you are lucky enough to get in early, play the top two trumps, then diamonds.
N of the R: In contract bridge, an uppercut is a defensive play that involves one of the defenders ruffing high in the knowledge that an overruff by the declarer will result in the promotion of a trump card in his/her partner’s hand into a winner. Thus, the technique presents a type of trump promotion.