Escape From Defeat

The Hittite Sun

Hittites lived in Anatolia. Hittites recognized the human rights and also women's social rights for the first time in human history. These are just few of the humane nature of Hittites: They were also good artists: You can see their fascinating reliefs in Ankara Anatolian Museum. The famous Kadesh treaty (the first written peace agreement in the human history) was signed between Hittites and Egyptians. Did you know that original copy of this treaty is in the Istanbul Archaeological Museum?

A- Dummy plays, declarer loose one trick.

B- Dummy plays, declarer loose no trick.
















     In bridge there are two very well known techniques for escaping from defeat. One of them is squeezing, the other one is trapping.. Since you already learned squeezing technique in Lesson-5, in this lesson you will learn trapping technique. This technique is known as "trump shortening" or "trump reducing" technique.

     In 1299 B.C Syria created a problem between Hittites and Egyptians. The great battle of antiquity took place at Kadesh between King Muttawallis and Pharoah Ramses II.

     Hittite chariots (used for the first time in the history of wars) shuffled the four suits of Pharoah's army. Later,  Ramses claimed. In those days there was no CNN camera at the battle fields. So, Mutawallis accepted Ramses' claim. Then, Egyptian army turned back to Egypt for celebrating their  victory: But, Ramses knew that it was more of escaping from defeat.

Ramses' technique (claiming while having some losers) is acceptable in the game of politics, but not acceptable in the game of bridge. So, let's turn back to trump shortening technique:

In bridge, you probably faced many times that defender has a finessable trump (or minor tenace in trump), but you can not finesse, because,

a) Dummy' s trumps are finished after you draw one or two..
b) You used dummy's trumps for other important purposes..

Worse than that, you may lose the  contract if you lose one trick to that valued card. In such cases you will apply trump shortening technique which can be described as:

You must ruff yourself down to the same trump length as the defender with finessable honor. Meanwhile, you must also extract all the cards he holds in side suits.. Compare two hand diagrams at the left which represent the end plays of two games where spades are trump:

In the diagram "A", declarer didn't shorten his trumps to the same length as East. When he lead a diamond from dummy, he must trump it. Since he will be on lead from hand, he will lose one trick to the jack of spades.. If declarer shortened his trumps  to the same length as East, as in the diagram "B", he wouldn't not lose any trick unless he is leading from dummy. This coup is  called trump coup..

Please find below a complete hand diagram for an example of trump shorthening technique:

The contract is  4. West started with three rounds of clubs, and exit with a diamond. Dummy wins with A and leads 10 for finessing K. East plays 2. In order to  keep finessing Dummy plays 7, East meanly holds up the king of diamonds and plays 8 South plays 9. 

Contract: 4             10 7 
A Q 10
A  Q  8  3 2
J 9 3
J 9 7 5 
J 7 6 5
A K Q 2

K 8 6 2 
6 4 3
K 10 9
10 6 4

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

Now, North's trumps finished but East's has still K and a low spade. It seems the contract will never be made. At this point declarer must apply trump shortening technique. In order to apply this technique,  declarer must enter dummy three times (two for shortening his trumps, one for the final move from dummy). In order to find  three entries to dummy he must overtake K with A.

Declarer plays K, and overtakes it with A ( 1st entry). He ruffs a diamond.. Finesse J with 10 (2nd entry) ruffs another diamond. Final diagram is as shown below:

 When declarer enters to dummy with Q (3rd entry) and  leads a diamond, East's trump winner disapears..

We can collect all the requirements for a trump coup to occur  in LOVE LAW. The LOVE LAW is an acronym to describe the requirements for a trump shortening technique:

L Your trumps must be shortned to the same Length as defender.
O You must be in the hand Opposite your long trump for final move
V Defender's Valued card must be finessable.
E You must Extract all the cards that defender holds in side suits.

Even my LOVE is good enough  to protect you from defeat, I will still give you a similar example hand from "World Championship" for practising at the green green grass of my table:


If you click the below link, you will practice a sample trump coup hand...


If you click above link, you can play a hand which is taken from World Bridge Federation- WBF.

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