Fuente: Bridgewinners; The Scissors Coup

A scissors coup is a fancy declarer play that «cuts» the defense’s communications, with the goal of preventing a dangerous opponent from gaining the lead.  On the hand below, taken from the Sunday Swiss of the 2011 Palm Beach Gardens Regional, see if you can spot the scissors coup:

Gavin Wolpert Scissors Coup

LHO opened 1, partner overcalled 1, RHO passed, and I bid 1. LHO doubled, and RHO took it out, a little surprisingly, to 2. I now bid 2 which ended the auction.

LHO led the K and RHO encouraged. They then played the J over to the A, RHO shifting to the 3.

The 3 return was clearly a singleton, because RHO would otherwise continue hearts. I had already lost two tricks and the opponents still had a spade and a heart trick coming. I had plenty of winners, so the opponents needed to score two ruffs to defeat my 2 contract. Would they be able to do that? It looks like it. If we attack trumps immediately LHO would win the A and give his partner a ruff. RHO would then cross to the Q and receive another club ruff for down 1.

One possible way to get rid of a loser is to fly ace of clubs and finesse the diamond queen for a heart discard.  But, from the bidding the K looked offside.

Can you see how to make the contract if RHO had the K?

The solution is to play A, followed by the Q. With RHO holding the K, no matter what he plays, you can discard your losing heart! You’ve traded your heart loser for a diamond loser, but now LHO cannot gain the lead twice to give his partner two club ruffs.

Gavin Wolpert Scissors Coup

This scissors coup was worth 5 IMPs en route to a small victory in the Swiss, but more importantly it gave me a hole-in-one feeling all afternoon.