Jettison Play
       The 2 C Opener

There are three things that every Bridge player should know: communication, communication and communication. Bridge is a game that involves communication. How do we communicate with our partners during the auction? Since hand signals and Morse code are frowned upon by the opponents, we must use the Bridge language of bidding. 
             Beside bidding, there are two other types of Bridge communication. One is Defensive signaling, where Defenders use the play of the cards to exchange information about their hands. That is for another month.
            What we will focus on today is Declarer/Dummy communication. In this case the word communication is used to describe the strategies employed to facilitate the flow of card play between the closed hand (Declarer) and the cards on the table (Dummy). 
          One important example of the communication between Dummy and the closed hand is Entries.  These are sort of doorways that give the Declarer entrance to the closed hand or to the tabled cards. 
          [In all the EXAMPLES below the lead is in the Declarer's  hand.] In EXAMPLE 1. her objective is to be able to play those winning Diamonds in Dummy. How can she do this?  By playing a small Club from her hand and then winning the trick with the A C. Then the lead is in Dummy and she can run the Diamond suit. The A C is an Entry to Dummy. If the A C is not there, then the good Diamonds are left  stranded.
S -----
H -----
C A x x

S -----
H x x x x x
D -----
C x


S -----
D K x x
C -----

S x x x
H -----
C x x


S K Q J x
H x x
D -----
C -----

S A x
H -----
D x x
C x x


       EXAMPLE 2 above demonstrates the use of the overtake. Here the Q D is played and the K Dovertakes it. Now the good Hearts can be run. Do not be afraid to overtake an Honor with an Honor. You are not wasting a high card. The four tricks that you win with the high Hearts are much more important than the one trick you can win with the Q D
           Often high cards can get in Declarer's way and cause blocking problems that prevent optimum communication. Now the     problem we must solve is how to get those high cards out of the way. How to unblock the suit. This often involves playing the high cards in the correct order. There is that old saw: Play the high card first from the short hand. In EXAMPLE 3 the Declarer has two  ways to  play Spades: a small Spade followed by the Ace, or vice versa. The objective is to be able to run the high Spades on the table. To accomplish this, Declarer must play the 
S first, then a small Spade to Dummy. Now Declarer is on the table with the good Spades. If Declarer played first the small Spade to the King, and back to the A S, then the Spades in dummy would be blocked, stranded; never to be gotten to. So play the 
S  first, then a small Spade to the Dummy and run the suit. 
              Another solution to these blocking problems is to throw away high cards. This unblocking coup is known as the Jettison Play. The dictionary defines jettison as to "throw something away that is useless or a burden; to discard or cast off as superfluous." If players wish to jettison their partners, they should do so when all play has ceased. To do so during a game or match is disquieting to the other players. (e.g. see August 2000
             In the EXAMPLE 4 below, the contract is 7 No Trump and the opening lead is the 9 S. Count winners: 2 Spades, 6 Hearts, 4 Diamonds, and 1 Club; 13 tricks off the top. Enough to make 7 No Trump. But how are they taken? After the winning the first Spade trick the lead is in Dummy. Problem: the Diamond suit blocks. If the suit is played, the A D wins and the rest of the suit is marooned in Dummy. We must find a way to keep the lead in Dummy so the Diamonds can be played. What to do? 
S A K 
H x x x
D K Q J 10
C x x x 

H A K Q 10 J x 
C A x x x


The A S wins the first trick. Play the K S and jettison the A D. That is, throw it away on the 
S. Now you can play the K D, Q D, J D and 10 D, thus making 7 No Trump. When the high card, the A D gets in the way, jettison it. 
          For the novice player it is counter intuitive to throw away high cards. However, EXAMPLES 2 and 4 above illustrate that frequently this is exactly what must be done. 
This month's hand will examine a dramatic way to create needed Entries to the table which also defies intuition, but is extremely effective and important to learn.

South, who is the dealer opens the bidding 
C. This 2 C bid is strong and artificial. (Bidder does not necessarily have Clubs.) Note: South's hand is much too strong to say 1 S, which partner can pass with 5 or less points. This would be tragic, for South has game practically in her hand. 
             There are many ways to respond to a 2 C opener which should have been discussed by the partnership beforehand. Anything unusual should be told to the opponents. They do have a right to know if you are playing some weirdo convention. Also by partnership agreement, the 2 C opening could be forcing to game.
          In this hand, North/South are playing that 2 C is game forcing; and that a 2 D response is a waiting bid. That is, 2 D does not mean anything, but just lets the 2 C opener easily describe her hand in the second bid. South does this by bidding 2 S. (No need to jump around since the 2 C opening is forcing to game.) This bid of 2 S by South shows a 5 card suit or longer. 
         North with 4 Spades can support South. But at what level? If slam is a possibility, then she will support her partner with a bid of 3 S. However, North does not think slam is possible so she jumps to a shut out game bid of 4 S
            South, not to be stopped with her super monster hand, bids 6 S, dreaming of 7.

West's safest and most aggressive lead is the top of the Heart sequence. Maybe a Heart trick can be promoted and partner will have a trick in one of the other suits for down 1. Any other lead would most likely be beneficial to the Declarer. 

Dummy comes down. Before  playing a Heart, Declarer looks for losers. Not that hard to find; a couple of Diamonds losers and a Spade loser. No Club or Heart losers. Seems to be down 2 for the home team. But don't give up; find a way of getting rid of these losers.

PLAN: Playing in a suit contract the 3 ways of getting rid of losers are: DUMP, TRUMP and FINESSE. Spades, which is the trump suit cannot be DUMPED. (DUMPING trump is the same as TRUMPING.) And Diamonds also cannot be DUMPED or TRUMPED. What is left is the FINESSE.  The only chance to make the contract is to take the Spade and Diamond finesse. And the Spade finesse might have to be taken more than once. All this sounds very good, but there is one small problem: how to get to Dummy to take all these finesses? Answer: ruff Clubs!

PLAY: Win the A H and take the Spade   finesse. Play the 3 S from Dummy and when East plays small, play the Q S. West shows out and the Queen wins, great. Now to get back to Dummy to repeat this finesse. (Since West was void in Spades, East started with 3 Spades to the King.) 
          Here goes. Play the A C and. . . hang on. . . ruff the A C with the 4 S. Ignore the dropped jaws and your agonizing partner who is trying to contain her rage and frustration. What is important is that you are on the table and are in position to take the second Spade finesse. Play the 5 S and when East plays small, play the J S. It has to win since West is out of Spades. 
         Declarer has gotten rid of the 1 Spade loser. Now to go after Diamonds. Again you must get to Dummy. And there is only one door open which you must take: ruff the K C with Dummy's last trump. Do it! This is your only Entry to Dummy. Forget about the kibitzers who have left the room or your partner who has fallen off of her chair. You are going to take the Diamond finesse.
          Play the 2 D from Dummy. East plays low and you play the Q D. This is it: success or defeat; win or lose; victory or death. West plays a small Diamond and you have just left your chair, going through the ceiling, the roof and into the heavens. Bang down the 
S, getting West's K S; concede a Diamond trick and claim the rest. Bid 6 S, making six.
          At first it may seem painful to throw away those high Clubs. However, in this case the need of good communication overrides the anticipated pleasure of banging down those honors for winning tricks. When you can stop looking at high cards as winners and see them as just another part of your game plan, you will have taken a big step forward in your progress as a Bridge player.

1. Can South play the hand without ruffing the A C or the K C in Dummy? 

2. Do East/West have a good save by bidding 7 C


The Defenders just follow suit and try not to revoke.