. .
.
Subj:   Bridge Challenge #2 (S506c)
From Chapter 4 - "How To Handle A Suit Contract", page 52

From the book Winning Declarer Play
by Dorothy Truscott
Published in 1969 by Harper and Row

 West S - J 3 H - 6 5 3 D - Q J 10 9 C - Q 10 3 2 North S - A K 7 6 2 H - 10 D - A 6 4 2 C - J 5 4 South S - 8 5 H - A K Q J 9 8 7 D - K 8 7 C - A East S - Q 10 9 4 H - 4 2 D - 5 3 C - K 9 8 7 6

The contract is 7 Hearts in the south and the opening lead is the queen of diamonds.

You have twelve tricks and have to find a thirteenth trick.

About half the time it's right to draw trumps first and half the time it isn't.  There is no general rule.  Declarer simply has to ask himself, "Is there anything that needs to be done before I draw trumps?"

This isn't difficult, but there are two points worth noting.  First, you must win the opening lead in your hand, not in dummy.  Entries to dummy are scarce, and the diamond ace must be preserved as a means of getting to the fifth spade once it is established.

Second, you must start to establish the spades before you draw the trumps, because the heart ten is needed as an entry to ruff the fourth spade.  The inexperienced declarer tends to go wrong here.  He has a compulsion to draw trumps first.  Then he tries to establish the spades.  If they break 4-2, which is normal, he winds up one entry short and goes down,  If you ask him why he drew trumps before starting on the spades, he tells you he was afraid his ace or king of spades would get ruffed.  Of course this is a completely unreasonable fear.  If one opponent could ruff the first or second round of spades, it would mean the other opponent had started with five or six spades, and it would be impossible ever to establish dummy's fifth spade anyhow.

Plan your attack before you play dummy's first card.

¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»¥«¤»§«¤»§«¤

This is one example from Dorthy Truscott's book "Winning Declarer Play."  Buy the book, read it, and rereat it a dozen times.  I guarantee it will improve your bridge game.

.