Today's deal was played in a European tournament late last year. South was Geir Brekka of Norway.
Looking at an almost certain trump loser, Brekka was not willing to stake his contract on the heart finesse. He rose with dummy's ace at trick one and cashed the ace of clubs, discarding a heart from his hand. This was followed by a club ruff, a diamond to the queen and another club ruff. Brekka then cashed his diamonds, shedding a heart from dummy on the third round. On the fourth diamond, West was not willing to sacrifice his "certain" trump winner, so he discarded a heart, as did dummy. Brekka trumped a heart and trumped another club, leaving this position:
When Brekka now led his heart, West was stumped. Should he ruff low, declarer would over ruff in dummy and just cash the high spades. Ruffing with the queen was no better. Brekka would overruff with dummy's ace and simply ruff a club. Brekka had emerged with all 13 tricks!
This position, where a certain defensive trump trick disappears, is known as a "Devil's Coup." West could have done better on defense, but full marks to Brekka for his fine play.
—Tribune Content Agency