Join Bridge Winners
Adjusting the Hand Pattern
(Page of 6)

West
North
A83
K64
K852
1094
East
South
QJ10964
A1095
73
3
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
2
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
9
K
3
2
0
1
A
4
8
4
3
1
1
2

This is a deal from a team match ~15 years ago.  Sometimes surprising positions practically play themselves.

Anyway, after the defense plays 2 rounds of clubs as shown (on each page, use the next button to see tricks leading up to the position where the question is posed), you ruff and do what?

West
North
A83
K64
K852
10
East
South
QJ1096
A1095
73
W
N
E
S
4
P
P
P
D
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0
3
10
K
4
1
1
0
1

(I haven't figured out how to dictate who is on lead in partial endings, so the auction is faked to get the right hand on lead henceforth)

 

West is fairly unlikely to have both A and K on this auction (most notably East's 3 and West's pass over 3), so I think it makes sense to start with the suit where we have less flexibility and play a diamond now. 

In real life, West won A and played Q to tap me again. But let's say West inserts 10 and the K holds.  Now what?

West
North
A83
K64
852
10
East
South
QJ1096
A1095
7
W
N
E
S
P
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
10
7
6
Q
3
1
0
7
J
2
9
0
1
1
7
3

What can we do that's productive with this entry?  I don't see anything better than ruffing a club, and proceeding to work on a partial elimination (even if unsure to what end) with another diamond.  

Those tricks proceed as shown and West leads a spade.  Now what?

West
North
A83
K64
85
East
South
QJ109
A1095
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
2
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
7
A
5
9
1
1
0
1

 

At trick 2 we started diamonds first as a sort of discovery play about the K.  I think we can be pretty sure it's offside, so we play A.  If the king drops, we can ruff a diamond, draw trumps, and play K, 4, surviving against any 4+ heart holding with West (as indicated by the negative double).  

Alas, East follows with 5. Now what? 

West
North
83
K64
85
East
South
QJ10
A1095
W
N
E
S
P
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 West
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
Q
10
6
3
1
0
Q
2
3
K
2
1
1
J
3

Might as well continue with our partial elimination by ruffing a diamond and exiting in trumps.  Defenders follow to both as shown, and East when in with the K plays the J.  Almost done!

West
Q872
A
North
8
K64
8
East
J3
J62
South
J
A1095
W
N
E
S
P
P
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0
J
J
2
4
3
1
0
1

The ending must be something like what's shown here.

Finally we get to the title of this article (also the title of a chapter in _Adventures in Card Play_).  East has presented us with a non-material ruff-sluff.  We could have reversed the dummy ourselves by ruffing the 8, but that would leave us banking on East holding QJ tight (in which case we wouldn't even need the dummy reversal).  The ruff-sluff, though, allows us to get a 9th trick via dummy reversal, while retaining the 8 as a menace.  We ruff in hand pitching a heart from dummy, then K, 8 squeezes West in the reds.

This did require split heart honors, otherwise East would have had a safe heart exit. 

After the first 2 tricks, the hand was unbeatable.  The full deal:

West
72
Q872
AJ106
Q85
North
A83
K64
K852
1094
East
K5
J3
Q94
AKJ762
South
QJ10964
A1095
73
3
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
2
3
3
P
4
P
P
P
D
4 South
NS: 0 EW: 0
5
9
K
3
2
0
1
A
4
8
4
3
1
1
3
10
K
4
1
2
1
10
7
6
Q
3
3
1
7
J
2
9
0
3
2
7
A
5
9
1
4
2
5
Q
10
6
3
5
2
Q
2
3
K
2
5
3
J
J
2
4
3
6
3
5
7
K
3
1
7
3
8
6
9
8
1
8
3
6
J
A
Q
3
9
3
10
13

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