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DEC_08_EB_p17 North 13/11/08 5:05 pm Page 17

Surround Play

FINE-TUNING

made easy

MOST bridge players have a pretty clear

idea of standard leads from an early point Game All. Dealer South. Freddie North

in their learning curve. Top of a sequence ♠A74

or near sequence, fourth highest from a ♥J

broken suit headed by an honour, MUD ♦ K Q J 10 9 6 East wants three winners from this suit so

and so on. All this is routine stuff and is ♣ 10 7 2 he plays the queen as he has a surround

well documented in elementary text- ♠ 853 ♠62 position over dummy’s jack. Suppose his

books. ♥ K Q 10 4 2

W

N

E

♥A963 holding is slightly inferior, e.g. A-Q-9-3. If

What is not so well known are the ♦ 72 S ♦853 the jack is in dummy, then the queen will

situations where a little fine-tuning is ♣ K53 ♣AJ94 still be correct if the layout is as in (d).

essential if the maximum awards are to be ♠ K Q J 10 9 Here is another instructive example:

achieved. The technique involved is called ♥875

‘Surround Play’ and may arise whenever ♦A4

the intermediate cards in a suit are of ♣Q86 Love All. Dealer South.

significant value. ♠KQ

Consider these two situations with East ♥Q984

to lead: West leads the king of hearts against South’s ♦974

contract of 4♠ and East must make two key ♣ Q J 10 6

plays. Firstly, he overtakes his partner’s king ♠ J 10 9 7 4 ♠A652

(a) 10 7 2 with the ace, and secondly, he switches to ♥ 65

W

N

E

♥A3

Dummy the jack of clubs: no other card will do if the ♦ Q32 S ♦ K 10 8 6

K83 AJ64 contract is to be defeated. This piece of fine- ♣ 843 ♣972

Declarer

tuning arises because the jack and nine of ♠83

Q95 clubs form a ‘surround’ over dummy’s ten. ♥ K J 10 7 2

Let’s say declarer covers the jack of clubs ♦AJ5

with the queen. West wins and returns the ♣AK5

suit through dummy’s ten enabling East to

(b) 10 7 2 make both the ace and nine. Note that the

Dummy same result could not be achieved if it were West leads the jack of spades against South’s

K53 AJ94 West who played clubs first, or if East played contract of 4♥ (l♥ – 3♥ – 4♥). East wins

Declarer

the four, or if East cashed the ace originally. the ace of spades. What now?

Q86 Position (c) is perhaps the easiest of all There is only one card in East’s hand that

to recognise: will seal declarer’s defeat. Noting the surr-

ound layout (the ♦K-10-8 over dummy’s

In (a) East is powerless to avoid declarer nine), East switches to the ten of diamonds.

making one trick in the suit. A low card is (c) J87 If declarer wins the ace, the defence have

run to dummy’s ten which forces West to their two tricks. If declarer plays the jack,

Dummy

win with the king. Subsequently dummy 652 A Q 10 3 West wins and continues the suit through

plays towards the Q-9 to establish a Declarer dummy’s 9-7 up to East’s K-8. One down is

winner. Obviously, neither the ace nor the K94 the inevitable outcome, but this would not

jack would enable the defence to take more have happened had East merely switched to

than their two tricks. the six of diamonds which declarer could

In (b), the jack and the nine surround run to dummy’s nine.

the ten providing a totally different scena- (d) J87 Note a major key element of Surround

rio. By playing the jack (no other card will Dummy

Play: the second-highest card is led and

do) the queen is captured by West’s king 10 5 2 AQ93 that is the one that sets the scene. The top

Declarer

and then the ten is trapped by East’s A-9 and third highest lurk in the undergrowth

on the way back. K64 waiting to pounce in a pincer movement as

Let’s see this play in a full deal. soon as the suit is returned.

www.ebu.co.uk December 2008 English Bridge 17

Index

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