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When Trump Coup Tommy played bridge in a strange environment, he had an edge. Opponents never realized until too late that, when faced with a bad trump split, Tommy was transformed from a card-pusher into a pro. Here's an example that occurred during a visit by Tommy to an out-of-town bridge club.

Considering that partner had opened the bidding, who could blame West for doubling four hearts? Indeed, against most opponents that would be the recommended action, but not with Tommy manipulating the pasteboards as declarer.

Tommy won the opening lead in dummy with the king and immediately played off three roundsof spades, discarding a diamond from the table. After cashing the ace of diamonds and ruffing a diamond low, declarer ruffed a club with the ace of trumps. Next came a spade ruff with the board's last trump, reducing West and the closed hand to nothing but five trumps, while dummy and East were left with five clubs each. South had eight tricks in the bank.

The rest was simple technique. Declarer led a club from dummy and trumped with the 10. West won and returned a low trump, taken by Tommy who exited with the deuce. West won, but now had to lead away from K 9 of trumps to Tommy's J 4. West scored only three trump tricks and East, the opening bidder, nary a one.

It will be a long time before anyone at that club doubles Tommy again with such a puny five-card trump holding!

North-South vulnerable. East deals.
K 10
7 3
K 9 8
Q 8 7 6 3 2
J 8 7 5 2 9 3
K Q 9 6 5 Void
7 6 5 Q J 4 2
Void A K J 10 9 5 4
A Q 6 4
A J 10 8 4 2
A 10 3
The bidding:
East South West North
1 1 Pass1NT
2 2 Pass3
Pass 4 DblPass
Pass Pass
Opening lead: Seven of

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