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Trump Coup - An unusual play tactic requiring declarer to reduce the number of trumps in hand to that of the threatening opponent holding the same number of trump.  The declarer cleverly plays winning tricks in a side suit and if the declarer's Right Hand Opponent ruffs, the declarer overruffs; otherwise the declarer sluffs losers in side suits.  If the declarer sluffed losers on the side suit before reducing trump and the RHO refused to ruff, the declarer would have to ruff a card in dummy; then the declarer would become endplayed, having to lead a trump to one of RHO's higher trump cards.

  A J 10 3 2
J 5
K 6 3
A Q 10
9 7 6 5
J 10 9 8
8 7 6 2

Contract: 4H

Declarer: South

K Q 4
K 4 3 2
A Q 2
5 4 3
A Q 9 8 7 6
7 5 4
K J 9

South ends up in a 4H contract.  West leads the DJ and the opponents' capture the first 3 Diamond tricks, exitinging with a Club.

South plays to Dummy's SA, then hoping to finesse the HK but when Dummy's HJ gets West's H10, South knows East has the HK (restricted choice) and the suit must be 4-1 in Hearts. Thus, East's HK cannot be finessed using brute force.  There must be a way... First, reduce East to 2 trump with last finesse H5 to H6, with East stubbornly ducking.

  J 10 4 3

A Q 10
9 7 6

8 7 6 2
  K Q
K 4

5 4 3
A 9 8 7

K J 9

South's only chance is to promote Spades, forcing East to ruff sooner or later.  This requires careful transportation using North's Club suit, having the Dummy overtake South's Clubs three times, ruffing Spades twice to get back to South's hand. 

Here's one of several sequences that will work: CK to CA, S3 to H7, CJ to CQ, S4 to H8.  Now it's show time...

  J 10

9 7

K 4



South makes the last entry to Dummy's Club, C9 to C10.  Dummy leads a SJ, pinning East's Hearts - a unique type of finesse. 

As we witnessed, critical elements are dummy transportation, shortening RHO's trump down to 2, shortening declarer's trump to 2 also, and lack of any better opportunity (since the plan requires several contingencies).

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