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Cigarette Coup

July 24, 2013
coup, ls, play,

Click Here to download the BBO .lin file for this deal. (The .lin file may be opened in Bridge Base to follow this deal interactively)

In general, a coup refers to a notable or successful stroke or move. In day-to-day usage, we have coup d’ etat which means a violent or illegal change of government, coup de main which means sudden vigorous attack, coup de grace which means finishing stroke.

Whenever bridge experts identify a new theme, they label the type of play as a ‘coup’ to highlight the important point. The three most famous coups are the ‘Bath Coup’, ‘Vienna Coup’, and ‘Scissor Coup’.

In Bath Coup, when a defender leads the king from king queen combination, declarer ducks with A-J-x to prevent a continuation by the opening leader, thereby gaining time. This play was first recognized in a place called ‘Bath’ in England and hence the name

In Vienna Coup, declarer makes an unblocking play to prevent squeezing his own hand or dummy in order to execute a squeeze against either opponent. This play was first recognized in ‘Vienna’, in Austria and hence the name.

In Scissor Coup, declarer cuts the communication between the defending hands.

There are many more coups like Dilemma Coup, Merrimac Coup, Dentist Coup, Trump Coup etc, to name only a few. Let us take a look at all the four hands to know about the funniest of them all ‘Cigarette Coup’.

Contract 6S by South. West leads HK. Plan your play.

(You can follow the play by clicking Next button in diagram above) You win the opening lead and play the K and A of S‘s. You find RHO has SQJ10. You can make the contract if RHO has three C‘s. What if he has only two C‘s?

You resort to the cigarette coup! You play a C to the Q and cash the A and play a third C. RHO may think you have only two C‘s and are trying to set up the C‘s. He may discard a H or a D. You win the C in hand and ruff the third D in dummy and play the fourth C. RHO ruffs and you discard your H loser.

Where does cigarette come in this? You may ask. When you lead to the CQ, LHO may lunge forward to take the trick with the expected K in his partner’s hand. You place a cigarette in LHO’s hand! The idea in thrusting the cigarette is to mislead RHO into thinking that his partner had asked for a cigarette and you were obliging him with one. Otherwise, RHO will know that you have the K and when you play the third round of C‘s, he will ruff and cash the setting trick.

A most funny name to a fantastic coup! !

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posted on July 24, 2013
in Articles, Play
tagged , ,
about author L Subramanianls

L Subramanian

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