By John Kozero, Santa Rosa
Whoever would have thought that you could reverse dummy when your hand has KQJ1097 and dummy has A63? But if you can get a little help from your friends, magic can happen -- which is what happened in my favorite hand from the recent North American Open Pairs at the Reno Nationals
In first position at no vulnerability I pick up:
This six-loser hand begs to be bid so I open 1D, hear pard bid 1NT and see RHO call 2C. Thereafter follows a club raise, a diamond raise and another club raise until I buy the hand in 4D. Dummy puts down:
I take stock and see, that although I have only three top losers, I have only eight sure winners: six trump winners and two spades. Clearly I'll need to find hearts splitting 3-3 if the 10 of hearts is to score or else I must trump it with dummy's ace. But that's only nine tricks. Still, the hand is young, so I trump the club lead and get to work by leading a small heart to board. LHO puts in the Q and continues with another club. I trump that and lead another heart. This time RHO wins and leads a third club which I ruff and lead the third round of hearts to find that LHO wins as the suit breaks 3-3. LHO now leads clubs yet again which allows me to score my fourth ruff.
Hmmmm, magic HAS happened. With four tricks in the bag, I merely cash my last two trumps (the K and Q), enter dummy with the spade K, pull the remaining trump (they split 3-1) with the Ace as I dump my losing spade, re-enter my hand with the spade Ace, and cash my 10 of hearts for 10 tricks.
At any point all the opponents had to do was lead a trump rather than a club to foil my play, but old habits die hard, especially when it ostensibly seemed safe to keep me ruffing. So I guess the lesson to the defense in this story is this: Sometimes you must be kind to be cruel. So consider leading trumps whenever declarer seems well-stocked in trumps and yet for some reason doesn't take your little kiddies off the street.