Who Gets Stripped?
K 8 2
A K Q 5
A 8 7 4 3
A J 10 9 7 5
10 8 6 2
A K Q
7 4 3
J 10 3
K Q 10 9 5 2
Q 6 3
9 8 6 5 4 2
Another deal with a void, this one with three hands holding six-card suits.
If East/West declare notrump, North/South strip four hearts from
West, then cash the club ace and exit a diamond. West, stuck
leading from his hand, can't avoid two spade losers.
If North/South declare notrump, West starts with exactly one top diamond,
then exits with a heart.
The diamond play seems innocuous, but it strips North of his satisfactory
exit after the hearts are taken.
If South wins the first heart and exits a spade, West finesses,
and North wins and is stuck at:
North can either set up four more tricks in West or three more
tricks in East.
In general, whatever South exits after winning the first heart, North
If East/West declare spades, the defense starts with a diamond lead.
The defense inevitably gets four hearts, two spades, and a diamond
If North/South declarer spades, West just plays ace and another spade,
killing the ruff threat immediately.
If North/South declare hearts, the defense starts with the spade
ace, spade ruff, club ruff, another spade ruff and a diamond.
Finally, West exits with a heart at this position:
The South hand is useless - it can't ruff a club, because West will ruff
the club ace, and the diamonds can't be set up because there is no entry
to get back to them. Indeed, North/South take can only take four hearts
and the club ace, and must concede the rest to East.
If East/West declare hearts, the defense just plays four top trumps,
then North defends as she defended against notrump - cash the club
ace and exit with the stiff diamond.
If North/South declarer the diamonds, the defense starts with ace
of spades, spade ruff with the three and five more high cross-ruffs.
If East/West declarer diamonds, the defense starts by leading
four rounds of heart. South pitches a spade on the third round and,
if East ruffs the fourth round low, South overruffs. If East
ruffs the fourth round high, South pitches another spade. Down
to one spade, South can keep East from ever scoring the diamond
three, and North/South get three hearts, three diamonds and either a
spade or a club.
If East/West declare clubs, the defense starts with a diamond.
West wins, plays the spade ace and spade ruff, then leads a top club.
North wins, leads a low heart to South's jack, who gives North a diamond
ruff, then North plays the rest of his hearts, South pitches a spade on
the third round, leading to this position on the last heart:
The defense has taken five tricks - three hearts, a diamond ruff and the
If East pitches a diamond, South pitches as well, and North plays
a spade, still promoting South's club jack. If East ruffs low,
South overruffs and gives North a diamond ruff. And if East ruffs
high, the defense has another natural trump trick.
If North/South declare clubs, the defense starts with the spade ace,
spade ruff, diamond ace, spade ruff, and a heart at this position:
If South wins the jack and gives partner a diamond ruff, North can run his herats, but on the fourth heart, East can pitch a diamond:
East is assured of getting three clubs now.
Unlike before, there is no way for North/South to promote the club
jack and get three more trump tricks. When North/South had the
opening lead, they could control the spade situation by killing the
entry to the West hand with the diamond lead, making sure East could
not ruff two spades in the East hand and strip the suit.
Compare this position, for example, with one spade left in each
of North and South's hand:
When North leads a heart here, if East pitches a diamond,
South pitches a spade and North leads a spade, promoting
South's jack. North still has the ♣ A
, so East/West get
only three of these tricks.