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Bridge

A Good Example of a Dummy Reversal

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When you look at this hand from the point of view of setting up the declaring hand, east, you have too many losers and not enough winners. You can always get 6 diamonds and the spade and club aces and trump 2 hearts in the dummy for 10 tricks. You are still left with spade losers because when the defense gets in, it will lead trumps. A wise old man once told me that you can't trump 4 losers with only 3 trumps, and it made sense.

Now try setting up the dummy's clubs as a source of tricks. Even if the club king sits wrong you are still setting up long clubs on which to discard many of those awkward losers in your hand. As the hand was dealt and the cards sit, you are now going to make all 13 tricks! After you trump the heart ace, come to hand with a high trump (and note that all the trumps will split 2-1 when both defenders follow) to lead the club 3 for a finesse of the queen. When this holds, either trump a club high and go back to the board with a diamond to the jack, or cash club ace and ruff another club. By now you know the clubs are going to run for 5 tricks, and you can count to 13 with 6 diamonds in hand, a heart ruff on the dummy, 5 club tricks and the ace of spades. Life can be so rewarding sometimes.

The hand was played in a recent club session and not a single east-west side scored game. Many were shut out by the barrage of hearts in the north-south, and the declarers who were allowed to play in diamonds seemed to be distracted by the heart void in dummy. You will play your hands better if you count tricks and have a real-world attitude to probable distributions.

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