Join Bridge Winners
What exactly is an elopement?l
(Page of 4)

North
A52
AKJ42
J1076
A
South
K743
3
K852
Q952
W
N
E
S
P
P
1
1
P
1
P
4
P
P
P

 

Many people, myself included, have overused the term elopement. I haven't checked back to see if Kelsey/Ottlik define it precisely, but I'd like to think that it is play involving the trump suit that generates more than one additional trick whatever the defenders do. So coups en passant or the like fail that hurdle.

But does a Backwash Squeeze meet that definition then? Perhaps not. Maybe my definition needs work.

Since Thanksgiving is coming up and some people may have more time on  their hands than usual, I'm posting a 26-card diagram from the last stanza of the McConnell trophy and giving the play from one room in 3NT.

But the reader is asked to work out for himself how the play could have gone in the other room in 4 to produce a very elegant trump ending; a real elopement.

The idea would be to give everyone a chance to look without posting the line: I'll come back and report what did happen on Thursday if I can. Anyone who spots the winning line can of course say so!

Where 3NT was reached, Nicola Smith as West with a 3-4-2-4 shape (with A3) led the J. Declarer passed the J, and Smith won and played a spade to her partner, ducked, for a low club back to the six. When dummy pitched a spade Smith exited in spades. Now declarer had three spades, three hearts via the finesse and one trick in each minor. But now she was cut off from a possible ninth trick in the form of the 13th heart. Any alternative line involving pitching a diamond from dummy on the second club and trying to set up hearts would have led to her own hand getting squeezed.

After the same opening lead to 4, Leslie won her A and passed the J. Back came a spade; now what was declarer to do?

West
1098
Q975
A3
KJ106
North
A52
AKJ42
J1076
A
East
QJ6
1086
Q94
8743
South
K743
3
K852
Q952
D

After the club opening lead to 4, declarer won her A and passed the J. Had South won the trump in hand she does best to play four rounds of hearts after taking the finesse. If East ruffs in, she pitches a club, ruffs a club and draws one more round of trumps then leads the fifth heart. East does much better to pitch a club on the fourth heart, and declarer ruffs, and cashes K, producing this ending:

West
98
K106
North
A5
4
107
East
QJ
Q
87
South
74
Q95
D

 

Declarer must now lead a trump to the ace rather than taking her club ruff while she can. Then, rather than play the master heart (when East could ruff in and play clubs and take the rest) declarer leads a diamond and ruffs it, for what I consider to be a classic elopement. If West overruffs, she has only clubs left, and declarer scores both dummy’s trump and a club winner at trick 13, while if West pitches, declarer can ruff a club in dummy for the tenth trick.

17 Comments
Getting Comments... loading...
.

Bottom Home Top