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Dummy Reversal

In a past club game this deal was played 13 times, and seven pairs reached the excellent 6 H contract (one pair bid 7 H — oops!) but only two were successful. The auction is shown as it occurred at one table.

6 H by South

None Vul
S J 8 2
H J 9 8 7
D A 7 4 3
C 9 2
S K 10 4 3
H 6 5 4
D K Q 10 8
C 7 6
TableS Q 9 6
H 2
D J 9 6 5
C J 10 8 5 4
Lead: D KS A 7 5
H A K Q 10 3
D 2
C A K Q 3

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
North

2 D
3 H
4 D
East

Pass
Pass
Pass
South
2 C
2 H
4 C
6 H

After the obvious lead of the D K, the ace was won in dummy. The unsuccessful declarers sooner or later tried to cash three top clubs, intending to discard a spade so that a spade could be ruffed in dummy. When the third club was ruffed, it was all over. Dummy could overruff, of course, but there was nothing declarer could do to avoid losing two spade tricks.

The successful declarers were made of sterner stuff. They recognized the potential of a “dummy reversal” — establishing the dummy’s hand by ruffing losers in declarer’s hand.

After winning the D A, a diamond was ruffed high in the South hand. Two top clubs were cashed (this could have been postponed as the cards lie, but was technically correct), followed by a low trump to dummy and another diamond ruff high. The H 10 was overtaken by dummy’s jack and the last diamond was ruffed by South. Dummy was entered by ruffing South’s small club and the last enemy trump was drawn. Finally, one of dummy’s spade losers could be parked on South’s high club. And that’s 12 cold tricks!

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© 1997 Richard Pavlicek