Vienna coup

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The Vienna coup is an unblocking technique in contract bridge made in preparation for a squeeze play.[1] It is so named because it was originally published by James Clay (1804-1873) after observing it being executed in the days of whist by "the greatest player in Vienna" — identity unknown.[2]

Examples[edit]

A J Example 1a
South to lead
A
2

N

                 E

S

K Q
K 4
4
Q 2
A

On the play of the A by South, East is squeezed but can escape by throwing a small heart. Although the Q is now set up, South must next play either the Q, 2 or 4 to be won in dummy and has no entry back to cash it; he must now lose a spade to East.

A J Example 1b
South to lead
2

N

                 E

S

K Q
K
4
Q
A

However, if instead, South plays the 2 to the A, East is squeezed when declarer next leads the 2 to the ace.

  • If East discards the K, declarer cashes the Q discarding the J and leads to the A.
  • If East discards the K or Q, declarer cashes the A and J.
A J Example 1c
South to lead
2

N

                 E

S

K Q
K
4
Q
A

In this layout there is no way to get back to the hand by playing the 2 to the ace. In this case, the A must have been cashed already at an earlier stage to squeeze East when declarer leads the A and discards the 2 from the table.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manley, Brent, Editor; Horton, Mark, Co-Editor; Greenberg-Yarbro, Tracey, Co-Editor; Rigal, Barry, Co-Editor (2011). The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (7th ed.). Horn Lake, MS: American Contract Bridge League. p. 470. ISBN 978-0-939460-99-1. 
  2. ^ Culbertson, Ely, Editor (1935). The Encyclopedia of Bridge. New York: The Bridge World, Inc. p. 453.