TRUMP PROMOTION

 
  If we consider the three parts of bridge - Bidding, Play the Hand, and Defense -  then probably Defense is the most difficult. It involves signaling, counting, cooperation and staying awake. There are two types of plays that should be in every Defender’s arsenal: Forcing Defense and the Uppercut.

THE FORCING DEFENSE
This is a global, long term approach. The plan is to force Declarer to ruff one or more times. At one point he might have to concede a trump trick or let you ruff a winner.  Another possible benefit  of the Forcing Defense is that the Declarer loses total control. (He is out of  trump while you still have one or you can pull his last trump.) Then you can cash your winners that Declarer would normally have ruffed. Strategy: on opening lead, or when ever you or your partner get the lead,  play your long suit and force Declarer to ruff.  If you (or your partner)  have 4 trumps and Declarer has 5, force Declarer to ruff twice. Then you will have one more  trump than the Declarer.


 
 

 


 

EXAMPLE 1.  Contract is 3 H.  Play the A C then K C.  If partner and Declarer both follow suit then lead the Q C.  If the Declarer started with a five card Heart suit he now has only 4 trump left, the same amount as you. When Declarer plays Hearts or Spades, you win and play a fourth club. This is the straw that broke Declarer’s back. If he ruffs the Club then he will have one less trump than you. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

EXAMPLE 2.  Contract is 4 S. Your partner leads the J D; the K D from Dummy; and you win with the A D. You play the Q D which Declarer ruffs.  The Q S is played which you duck. When the J S is played next you duck again and wait. If trump is played again win it and play Diamonds.  Since three rounds of trump have been played, Dummy cannot ruff a Heart. After declarer ruffs it he will have one trump left; the same as you. When you get in with the KC play the fourth Diamond. If Declarer ruffs (his last trump), then your last trump is the setting trick.


 
EXAMPLES
1.

XXXXXXXXXXXXDUMMY
XXXXXXXXS  K Q J
XXXXXXXXH  9 8 4
XXXXXXXXD  K Q 8
XXXXXXXXC  8 7 6 2

   YOU
S  A 5
H  A 5 4 3
D  9 2
C  A K Q 9 2





 
2.
 DUMMY
S  A K 4
H  A Q 5
D  A J 
C  N T

   XXXXXXXXXXXXYOU
XXXXXXXXXS  A 9 5 3
XXXXXXXXXH  10 8 5
XXXXXXXXXD  A Q 5 2
XXXXXXXXXC  K 7


 
  THE UPPERCUT
Is a specific trump play by the Defenders. One of the Defenders ruffs, forcing the Declarer to over trump.  (If the Declarer does not over trump he will lose the trick.) But when Declarer over trumps, a trump is promoted to a winner in the other Defender’s hand. To make this play a success the Defender has to ruff with his highest trump.
 

     Watch out for the uppercut.

 
  EXAMPLE 3.  Contract is 4 S.  The Declarer will use the bridge maxim Eight Ever, Nine Never and play the A S then the K S, hoping to drop your Queen. As the cards lie the Queen will fall.  But you can resort to the trump promotion play called The Uppercut. Play the A H.  Both your partner and Declarer follow suit. You now know that there are no more Hearts out and the next Heart that you lead will be ruffed.  Since you want partner to ruff the Heart do not lead the K H but the 2 H.  Now partner has to rise to the occasion by trumping with the 10 S.  For Declarer to win the trick has to over trump with the King. And now, voila, your Q S is promoted to a winner.  Note that if partner was lazy and trumped with the 7 S Declarer could over trump with the 8 S  and the Ace/King of Spades will drop your Queen.
 

EXAMPLE 4.  Contract is 4 H.  You are on lead.  If the Declarer has the A H you will not win a trump trick. The Ace/ King/ Queen of Hearts pulls all your trump. What to do?  Hit the Declarer with the Uppercut.  Play the A S then the K S (noting partner’s high/low signal indicating a doubleton).  For the coup de grace, Uppercut with the 6 S.  Declarer has to follow suit.  But partner ruffs with the lowly 4 S and for the Declarer to win the trick he has to over trump with the King or Queen.  Now you have a trump trick. Finis.

XXX
        XXXXXXDUMMYXXXXXXX3.
XXXXXXXXS  J 5 3
XXXXXXXXH  Q J 10 8 5
XXXXXXXXD  ----- 
XXXXXXXXC  -----

 YOU  XXXXXXXXXXXPARTNER
S  Q 8  XXXXXXIIXS  10 7
H  A K 9 7 6 2 XXXIH  3
D  ----- XXXXIXIIXD  9 8 7 6 5 4 
C  -----  XXXXXXXC  -----

XXXXXXXXXXXDECLARER
XXXXXXXXS  A K 9 8 4 3
XXXXXXXXH  4
XXXXXXXXD  A 
XXXXXXXXC  -----

_____________________________

XXXXXXX


            XXXX
DUMMYXXXX
4.

XXXXXXXXS  8 3
XXXXXXXXH  K Q 3
XXXXXXXXD  A 7 6 
XXXXXXXXC  4

 YOU  XXXXXXXXXXPARTNER
S  10 2  XXXXXX.IS  A K Q 7 6
H  4 2 XXXX XXIXH  J 10 5
D  K Q 7  XXXXXID  5
C  5 3   XXXXXIIXiC  -----

XXXXXXXXXXXDECLARER
XXXXXXXXS  J 9 5 4
XXXXXXXXH  A 9 8 7 6
XXXXXXXXD  -----
XXXXXXXXC  -----

QUIZ 31

                                     1. WEST DEALS.  BID AND PLAN THE PLAY.
 
 
NORTH
 
S K 8 7 6 2
 
H Q J 6 5 3 
 
D 7 2 
 
C
 


  WEST
EAST
  S Q 10
S J 4 
  H A K 9 8
H 10 7 
  D J 10 8 6
D A 9 4 3 
  C K 7 6
C 9 8 5 3 2
 


 
SOUTH
 
S A 9 5 3
 
H 4 2
 
D K Q 5 
 
C A Q J 10

 

                                      2.  SOUTH DEALS.  BID AND PLAN THE PLAY.
 
 
NORTH
 
S K 2
 
H A 6 5 3 
 
D A 8 7
 
C J 7 6 2 
 


 
WEST

EAST
  S 8 5
S J 10 7 6 4 
  H 8
H Q 10 9 
  D J 10 8 6 3
D 2
  C A Q 10 9 4
C K 8 5 3 
 


 
SOUTH
 
S A Q 9 3
 
H K J 7 4 2
 
D K Q 9 5 
 
C --------

ANSWERS to Quiz 31

 

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