Beware of the Greeks bearing Gifts

June 3, 2013

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Contract 7S by South. Opening lead C8. Plan your play.

You can follow the play by clicking Next button in diagram above
Let us say that you play the 10 from dummy. RHO covers with the jack and you win with the queen. You cash the diamond ace and ruff a diamond. When you enter hand with the spade ace, RHO shows out. You ruff one more diamond. You reenter hand with the heart ruff and ruff the fourth diamond. You have no entry back to hand to draw the trumps. If you enter via a heart ruff, you will be shortening yourself. Where did you go wrong?


You went wrong at trick one! The correct play is to win the first trick in dummy. D‘s need to be 4-3 for you to make the contract. So, cash DA and ruff a D. Enter hand with SA, and ruff a D again in dummy. Reenter hand with the carefully preserved CQ. Ruff one more D with SQ. Ruff a H into hand, draw trumps and claim.


It has been identified that the most common mistake and one which is often repeated by declarers during the play of a hand is the mismanagement of entries.   If you carelessly play the C10 at trick one to promote an extra trick in the suit, you will be forced to win in hand when RHO covers with the J. This will remove a vital entry in your hand which will be required if the trumps are 4-0. The opening lead gives you an extra trick in clubs in the form of a gift, but you should be wary of the Greeks bearing gifts. If you do not spurn the gift, you will be defeated in the iron-clad contract. Supposing you find the trumps to be 3-1, enter hand with H ruff for ruffing the fourth D. If you try to enter with CQ, LHO may ruff the trick if he had started with a singleton C. Reenter hand again with another H ruff, draw trumps and claim.

Summary & Tip

Plan the play to the entire hand before playing to trick 1. When the opening lead seems like a gift, it might just turn out to be a Trojan horse. So beware of the Greeks bearing gifts.

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posted on June 3, 2013
in Articles, Defense, Play
tagged , ,
about author L Subramanianls

L Subramanian

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