Fust about defence or Fust but not phased

Victorian State Bridge Instructor Jeff Fust created quite a stir south of the border with his electronic techniques for bridge teaching.

The following hand comes from a Swiss Pairs congress in which Fust, sitting East, was partnering Leeron Branicki. It contains a good example of  “Creating Extra Trump Tricks”, which Fust calls the Fifth Line of Defence. Can you see the defence?

Dealer West, EW vul.

          NORTH
          S K7
          H AKJ6
          D Q9
          C AKT72
WEST                EAST
S AJ                S T5
H 982               H QT75
D AKJ86             D 742
C J93               C 8654
          SOUTH
          S Q986432
          H 43
          D T53
          C Q

WEST   NORTH   EAST   SOUTH
Branicki       Fust
1D     Dble    Pass   4S

South’s dramatic jump to 4S concluded the auction. Branicki led the DA and Fust signalled encouragement, despite having three small diamonds. Branicki continued with the DK and DJ, ruffed by dummy’s S7. The SK was then led, won by Branicki’s SA. She then played the D8 allowing Fust to ruff with the S10, promoting the SJ as the setting trick for the defence.

This play of ruffing to force out a high trump, in the hope of promoting a trump trick for partner, is known as an “uppercut”. Here is another example. After three passes, it is usually a good idea to open a point or so light if holding long spades, so East ventured 1S, then passed West’s 2H response (non-forcing by a passed hand). How should the play proceed?

          NORTH
          S 97
          H JT8
          D JT82
          C AKT5
WEST                EAST
S A                 S KQT84
H A9765             H K32
D 7543              D K6
C Q87               C 432
          SOUTH
          S J6532
          H Q4
          D AQ9
          C J96

On the CA lead, South signals discouragement so North switches to the DJ. South may cash the second diamond winner before leading the CJ (high-low from the remaining doubleton) to partner. Soon the defenders have taken five minor suit winners.

If North now plays the last club, South can ruff with the HQ, a successful uppercut which drives out the HA from declarer’s hand, promoting an extra trump trick for North, and the contract is thereby taken two light.

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