Maintaining Trump Control by Steve Becker
Trump control is a key factor in many deals, but it is not exclusively the province of the declarer.
On 12 September, 2015 At 12:32
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South dealer, North-South Vulnerable
Trump control is a key factor in many deals, but it is not exclusively the province of the declarer. Today’s hand shows how the defense can exercise control over the trump suit and in so doing stop a slam.
Declarer won the opening diamond lead with the ace and played a low trump to the king. The outcome of the hand now hinged on whether West took the king with the ace.
First, let’s see what would have happened had West taken the trick. Presumably he would have returned a diamond, ruffed by South.
Declarer would then have cashed the ace of clubs, ruffed a club, led a trump to the queen and ruffed another club. This would have established his remaining clubs as tricks and all he would then have to do is play a spade lo the ace, draw West’s last trump and claim the balance.
But when the hand was played. West realized that if he took the first trump, he could very well be aiding South’s cause. Accordingly, he allowed the king to hold the trick. As a result, South could no longer make the slam.
If he tried to ruff two clubs in dummy, East would overruff the second one with the ten. And if instead South elected to play a second round of trumps before tackling the clubs, West would defeat the contract by taking the ace and returning his remaining trump. In that case, the queen of clubs would become the setting trick.
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