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Tactical Moves in Play by Terence Reese

Like chess, bridge has an opening, middle, and end game. An end game situation arise when a defender ( or it can be the declarer) is forced to make a disadvantageous lead or play. There are four main types of en play, conventionally classified as follows.

Throw-in:  Where a defender is forced to lead into a tenace.

Elimination:  Where a defender has the choice, in a trump contract, of leading into a tenace or making a play that allows declarer to ruff in one hand while he discards a loser from the other.

Trump Coup: Where a defender’s trump tricks are curtailed or made to disappear altogether.

Squeeze: Where owing to pressure of space a defender is forced to discard a potential winner.

The Trump Coup:


 K 6
 9 8 2
 K Q 8 6
 A Q 6 4

 A K 10 6 3
 J 8 3 2
 J 5 3

 J 9 5 3
 Q 7 4
 A 10 5
 10 9 2


 A Q 10 8 4 2
 J 5  
 7 4
 K 8 7


Dealer: North;  Love all

Pass  1
Pass 1
Pass 2
Pass  3
Pass 4 Pass Pass

Lead: K

The defence will probably begin with three rounds of hearts, South ruffs the third round, plays spade to the K and spade to the A, on wich West shows out.

Now South plays a diamond to the K,  East wins with the A and returns 10 to dummyQ. The position is:


 9 6
 A Q 6 4     

 J 8 
 J 5 3          

 J 9 
 10 9 2          


 Q 10 8         
 K 8 7


The lead is in dummy and at this point declarer must lead a diamond and ruff in order to reduce his trumps to the same number as East’s.

He follows with three rounds of clubs, finishing in dummy; there is a danger that East will ruff, but that chance has to be taken. When East follows to the clubs the lead is in dummy at trick 12, and declarer makes the last two tricks by way of a trump coup.


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