Pedro Paulo Assumpçao

The Secret is in the Timing by Pedro Paulo Assumpçao

In most deals the declarer soon identifies the plays he must make for the contract, such as establishing a suit, knocking out an entry, and so forth.

But however good his reasoning, success may still elude him unless he makes these plays in precisely the right order.

In bridge the secret is often in the timing.

Whenever there is more than one step to be taken, you should take special care to select the best timing.

Ask yourself whether the obvious sequence of play will in fact produce the required result. Whenever there is doubt, try the effect of change in the timing.

Dealer: West East/West Vunerable


A 7 4
7 5 4
K 6
A J 10 6 5




Q 3
Q J 10 8 6
A J 4
K 7 3


J 10 9 5 2
9 3 2
10 7 2
Q 4


K 8 6
Q 9 8 5 3
9 8 2


The Bidding:
















Contract: 3NT

Lead: Q

You are in 3NT and West leads Q. It is easy to see where the tricks must come from. You have only four tricks in the major suits, so must plan to take four club tricks and a trick in Diamond

Many players, however, would get the timing of this hand quite wrong. Would You?

Suppose you play clubs first, as may perhaps seen natural. In that case your last heart stopper is driven out and you never have time to make a diamond trick.

So, play a diamond at trick two! If West plays A you make four diamond tricks, enough for the contract; and if West ducks you come to hand with spade and attack clubs

The timing, you see, makes all the difference.

By ferlema