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Trump Magic

J 9 3
A K 10 9 7 3
9 7 6
9
6
6 5 2
K Q 8 5
8 7 5 4 2
 
A K Q 5 4
Q 4
A 4 2
10 6 3
10 8 7 2
J 8
J 10 3
A K Q J
This is the first non-symmetric example with a six-card suit, and also the first with eight-card fits.

Notrump

East/West have three spades and four diamonds off the top. North/South have four clubs and six hearts.

Spades

With East/West declaring spades, North/South start with two top hearts followed by four clubs, North ruffing the fourth round high. East can't avoid two trump losers.
With North/South declaring, the defense starts with three spades, then runs four diamonds, East pitching a heart. South can take his trump trick now or later, but the defense still gets eight tricks.

Hearts

Against hearts by North/South, the defense starts with three spades then four diamond, promoting East's Q.
East/West declaring is clearly pointless.

Diamonds

If North/South declare diamonds, East/West just take their four trumps and three spades.
If East/West declare diamonds, the defense starts with three top clubs, North pitching two spades, then two top hearts followed by a third high heart.
If East pitches, South also pitches and North just continues hearts, promoting a trump trick for the defense. So East must ruff.
If East ruffs low, South overruffs and leads a spade, East winning, reaching this position:
9 7 3
9 7 6
K Q 8 5
8 7
 
K Q 5 4
A 2
10 8 7
J 3
J
East is on lead. If he draws trumps, he can't get back to his spades. If he tries to cash a spade to pitch a club now, North ruffs. There is no way of keeping East/West from scoring a seventh trick.
So perhaps East should have ruffed the third heart high. South pitches a spade, arriving at this position:
J
9 7 3
9 7 6
6
K Q 8 5
8 7
 
A K Q 5 4
4 2
10 8 7
J 10 3
J
North/South have promoted a natural trump trick, and West again needs to get rid of his clubs, but can't attack spades. Nor can he pull one round of diamonds and ruff a club, because North can ruff ahead of him without costing the natural trump trick. There is, in fact, no way for West to avoid losing two more tricks.

Clubs

If North/South declare clubs, the defense starts with three spades (West pitching hearts) followed by three diamonds. West is destined to get a long trump, as well.
If East/West declare clubs, the defense runs four clubs then three hearts. East is out of hearts, and West must follow, for seven tricks.

Post Mortem

This deal, perhaps, does not belong in this section - for example, North/South don't have six top tricks against diamonds. Still, the basic pattern "take a bunch of top tricks then score your trumps by promotion" is followed. We're on a cusp of a more complex type of Par Zero Deals.
The end position in the diamond contract is interesting. Here is a simpler version of it:
J
10 9 8
9 7
6
2
Q 8 5
7
 
A K 5 2
A 4
10 8 3
J 10
J
North to lead, diamonds trumps, North/South need two tricks. The only lead to score two tricks is a heart lead.
<< Weakened Trumps
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1999-2014.
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