Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Friday, September 12th, 2014

There is a wisdom of the head, and … a wisdom of the heart.

Charles Dickens

West North
East-West ♠ 10 7 5 3
 J 7
 J 10 6 4
♣ K J 6
West East
♠ K J
 K Q 8 3 2
♣ Q 8 5 4 3
♠ 8 6 4
 Q 10 8 3
 9 7 5
♣ 10 9 7
♠ A Q 9 2
 K 9 6 5 4 2
♣ A 2
South West North East
1 Pass Pass
Dbl. 2♣ Pass 2
3 Pass 4 All pass


I am grateful to Ron Klinger for this hand — a co-winner of the Brilliancy Prize at the Australian Summer Festival of Bridge. The declarer was Terry Brown.

South won the lead of the diamond king and made an excellent start when he played a small heart from hand to West’s ace. West exited with a small club, taken by South’s ace. When his play of the spade ace dropped the jack, and the queen was won by West’s king, West returned a second club and Brown now had a count of West’s distribution from both the bidding and the play thus far, and, more importantly, of East’s. Since East still held Q-10-8 in trumps, there appeared to be two inevitable trump losers. Therefore, for the contact to succeed, declarer had to play to reduce his trump length to that of East.

So Brown finessed the club jack and ruffed a diamond to hand. Dummy was re-entered with the spade 10, and another diamond trumped back to hand. Having now reduced his trumps to the required length, Brown played a trump to dummy’s jack and East’s queen.

In the three-card ending, East could do no better than exit with his club (a trump would be no better) to dummy’s king, South discarding his fourth spade. Now, whichever card Brown led from dummy could be ruffed by East and overruffed by South; a perfect example of a trump coup.

With all your side-values in partner's second suit, you want to encourage him to bid on at the five-level over five hearts. (Imagine your partner with five solid spades and five clubs to the ace-queen, when your fourth trump and club honors may not win many tricks on defense.) So bid four spades now and let him know you are equipped for offense.


♠ 10 7 5 3
 J 7
 J 10 6 4
♣ K J 6
South West North East
Pass 1♠ 2
2♠ 3 4♣ 4

For details of Bobby Wolff’s autobiography, The Lone Wolff, contact If you would like to contact Bobby Wolff, please leave a comment at this blog. Reproduced with permission of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., Copyright 2014. If you are interested in reprinting The Aces on Bridge column, contact


Bill CubleySeptember 26th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I thought the declarer’s name would be Trump Coup Tommy, but it is Trump Coup Terry.

Bill CubleySeptember 26th, 2014 at 3:33 pm

I thought the declarer’s name would be Trump Coup Tommy, but it is Trump Coup Terry.

bobby wolffSeptember 26th, 2014 at 4:27 pm

Hi Bill,

Whether the executor of the trump coup is either Tommy or Terry, often they require perfect handling of entries and timing and because of that they are usually loudly applauded.

The proper adjective to describe one might be graceful, but in any event when one is thought of, proud should come to mind, unless you turn out to be the one being couped and only then are expletives allowed to be bellowed, even by usual ladies and gentlemen.