Trump promotions are not so difficult once you get the hang of them, but it takes real talent to organize a trump demotion! Observe this tragic E-W performance:
Looking just at N-S, playing in 4♠, you can see three top losers in the red suits. Of course, when tackling the trump suit, Declarer plays the A♠ first. Most (89%) of the time, trumps will be 2-1, and there will be 10 easy tricks. But this deal is in the unlucky 11%, and, so, Declarer is destined to go down one.
But, no! Here comes E-W, galloping to Declarer’s rescue! West’s opening lead is the K♥, followed by the A♥. This sequence of plays cleverly shows a doubleton in the E-W methods (with a longer suit, this pair would lead the Ace first). Then a Diamond switch is won by East’s Ace, and a Heart comes back. Declarer ruffs resignedly with the nine and, when that unexpectedly holds, the jig is up! Declarer now has no trouble working out the trump position and crosses to Dummy (twice if necessary) to finesse East out of his QJ3 ♠, making 10 tricks!
It was not too smart of West to advertise a doubleton Heart when he had no trumps with which to ruff the third round. And East, knowing the trump situation, might have done better not to play that third round of Hearts (although a suspicious Declarer would surely have smelled a rat if East had not done so). So, there you have it, the dreaded trump demotion!
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A fitting tribute
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