Games: Bridge

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The Independent Culture
ON TODAY'S hand, declarer needed to reduce his trump length to the same as West's - a quadruple trump reduction - which is not a play you perform every day.

After two passes South opened Four Spades, much to the surprise of West who held half the points in the pack and, unsurprisingly, doubled. All passed, and West made the natural-looking lead of the king of diamonds.

Declarer won this in dummy and immediately ruffed one back to hand. He strongly suspected that the three outstanding trumps sat over him, therefore he needed to reduce his own holding to the same length so as to end-play West.

South now played the king of clubs, won by West who cashed the ace of hearts and followed with the heart jack.

Declarer ruffed this in dummy, ruffed another diamond back to hand, ruffed his king of hearts in dummy and a trumped third diamond. Now a club to dummy's queen and a club ruff in hand finally reduced his own trump holding to three and he was able to execute the end-play. He got off lead with the jack of spades to West's queen, who was now forced to lead back into declarer's A 10.

West had two chances to defeat the contract. If his opening lead had been a top trump, Four Spades would have failed. The second chance came when declarer played the king of clubs. If he ducks this and wins the second club lead, declarer is denied the extra entry to dummy that he needs to complete the trump reduction.

East-West game;

dealer North


48 7 2


#A 8 7 3 2

2Q 8 5 2

West East

4K Q 4 4void

!A J 10 !9 8 6 5 4 2

#K Q J 5 #10 9 6

2A 10 7 2J 9 4 3


4A J 10 9 6 5 3

!K Q 3


2K 6