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Longboat Key Wednesday, Jul. 25, 2012 3 years ago

Bridge bites: A dummy reversal

by: Brian Gunnell American Contract Bridge League

N-S stumble into 4♠, and West leads A♦. Declarer can count five Spade tricks and four Clubs. That’s nine — where’s the 10th? A ruff in the “short hand” is a common ploy for an extra trick, but that won’t work here, because Dummy has no short side-suits. Any ideas?

Does ruffing the opening Diamond lead generate a 10th trick? No, that is a ruff in the long hand; that still leaves us with only five trump tricks. But suppose that Declarer ruffs three Diamonds. Now he gets six trump tricks via Dummy’s three high trumps plus three ruffs by Declarer (the long hand). In effect, Dummy becomes the master hand, the hand which will be used to draw the enemy trumps after Declarer has gotten his ruffs.

Therefore, the sequence of plays is: Ruff the Diamond lead, cross to the Q♠, ruff another Diamond, cross to the J♠, ruff a third Diamond, cross to the Q♣ and draw the remaining enemy trump. This line works whenever trumps are 3-2.

The thing to remember here is that Declarer needs three ruffs for the Dummy Reversal to produce an extra trick. It’s that third ruff that reduces Declarer’s trumps to a shorter length than Dummy’s. Actually, it would even be possible for Declarer to get a fourth ruff, but there are insufficient entries to take advantage of this. So, 10 tricks it is.

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Contact Brian Howard, owner/director of the Bridge Center of Bradenton, at 795-8981.  

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