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# Who Gets Stripped?

K 8 2
A K Q 5
7
A 8 7 4 3
A J 10 9 7 5
10 8 6 2
A K Q
4
7 4 3
J 10 3
K Q 10 9 5 2
Q 6 3
J 9
9 8 6 5 4 2
J 6
Another deal with a void, this one with three hands holding six-card suits.

### Notrump

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:
8 2
A K Q
A 8 7 4 3
A J 10 7 5
10 8 6
K Q
7 4
J 10
K Q 10 9 5 2
Q 6
J
9 8 6 5 4
J 6
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 is stuck.

If East/West declare spades, the defense starts with a diamond lead. The defense inevitably gets four hearts, two spades, and a diamond ruff.
If North/South declarer spades, West just plays ace and another spade, killing the ruff threat immediately.

### Hearts

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:
A K Q 5
A 8 7 4
J 10 9
10 8 6
K Q
7
J 10
K Q 10 9 5
J 9
9 8 6 5 4
J
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.

### Diamonds

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.

### Clubs

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:
K
Q
8 7 4
J 10 9
10
A
J
Q 10 9 5
9 8 6 5
J
The defense has taken five tricks - three hearts, a diamond ruff and the club ace. 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:
A K Q 5
A 8 7 4 3
J 10 9
10 8 6 2
K Q
7 4 3
J 10
K Q 10 9
J 9
9 8 6 5 4
J 6
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:
A
A 8 7 4
J 10 9
10
K
10
K Q 10 9
9 8 6
J 6
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:
K
A
A 8 7 4
J 10 9 7
10
K
10
K Q 10 9 5
Q
9 8 6
J 6
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.
 << Sneak Attacks Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2009. A Complexity Four Example >>
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