Source: IBPA Column Service AUG. 2019

IMPs Dealer East. E/W Vul

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

After the simple limit raise in spades, South had an easy four-spade bid. West led the king of diamonds. East overtook this with the ace and returned the two of hearts.

What would be your plan?

Declarer read this for what it was – a singleton. As he had three certain losers (two diamonds and a trump) he could not afford to suffer a heart ruff.

Declarer observed that there was no chance that East would have defended this way with a singleton in spades; also, he saw that he needed East to have the ace of trumps – otherwise East would always get a heart ruff.

Tim Bourke
Tim Bourke

Declarer knew that his only chance to make ten tricks was to cut the transportation link in diamonds between the defensive hands. So, after playing low from hand on the heart shift and taking the jack of hearts with the king, declarer led dummy’s seven of clubs to his ace and continued with the queen of clubs to dummy’s king.

Next he advanced the ten of clubs from dummy and was relieved to see East’s jack of clubs appear. As planned, he threw the ten of diamonds from his hand. East felt that the chance of getting a heart ruff had likely disappeared but nonetheless played the eight of diamonds next. Declarer ruffed this with the nine of trumps then played the king of trumps. East took his ace of trumps and returned a trump. Declarer now claimed ten tricks: five trumps, three hearts and two clubs.

This coup is known as: Scissors Coup is a type of coup in bridge, so named because it cuts communications between defenders. By discarding a card or cards either from declarer’s hand or from dummy or both, declarer can stop them from transferring the lead between each other, usually to prevent a defensive ruff.

The complete deal:

10 8 6 2
A K 10 7
6 3
K 10 2

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

Don’t forget – you can still enter for the 6th World Youth Open Bridge Championships being held in Croatia from 20 – 29 August.

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