Competition Problem 6
by Hugh Darwen
South to make three spades. West leads the ♦A.
Successful solver (8 DD master points to him): Jean-Marc Bihl (from a very low entry)
South ruffs with a middle trump and leads ♣K to West's ♣A.
A. If West returns a club, it is covered all round and then South leads the ♠J. To make the club ruff count, as it were, West must play the ♠Q, but North ducks. A spade to East's ♠A allows the club ruff to be taken, but West is now endplayed—a low diamond return gives away a trick and an entry to North, a high diamond allows both ♦Q and ♦8 to score, and a heart away from the ♥8 gives all four heart tricks to declarer.
B. If West returns a low diamond—a high one would again give away two tricks—North wins with ♦Q and South must be careful to discard a club, not a heart. North continues with the ♥10 to ♥J and ♥Q (or ♥7 to ♥2 and ♥9) and this time East's trump entry must be attacked before West. South therefore leads a middle spade to North's ♠K and East's ♠A. East returns a diamond, ruffed by South's remaining middle trump. Now declarer cashes the ♣Q before leading the ♠J.
1. If West wins and leads another trump to North's ♠6, East is forced to discard a club. North leads the ♥7 to South's ♥9 (or ♥10 to ♥J and ♥Q) and then East is thrown in with a club to lead into South's ♥A5 tenace.
2. If West wins and returns a top diamond, East and South both discard clubs. Now North's trump can safely take care of a further diamond lead, whereas a trump switch will squeeze East in hearts and clubs.
3. If West ducks, South loses a club to East and, whatever the return, West can make no more than the ♠Q.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2014
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017