Competition Problem 7
South to make three no-trumps. West leads the ♥8.
Successful solvers: Robin Adey, Jean-Marc Bihl, Clint Fyke, Dick Yuen, Wim van der Zijden
South lets East hold the first trick and the second, in clubs. The ♣A wins the third, and South advances the ♦8 (or ♦10).
A. If West ducks, four rounds of spades follow, South discarding a heart. West's forced red suit return concedes the eighth trick. If it is a heart, South wins two hearts and easily makes two of the last three tricks in diamonds. If it is a diamond, three rounds of diamond endplay West again.
B. If West covers, North wins and leads a second diamond (optionally cashing a top spade first), South playing the middle card.
1. If West wins and returns the ♦7, North plays the ♦9 and South overtakes. South leads the ♠6, North finessing the ♠J. A top spade is cashed if it wasn't cashed at trick 5, South playing the ♠5 on it in either case. South comes to hand on the fourth diamond. Now, if West still has the ♠3, South cashes the ♥A and makes two spade tricks by finessing the ♠4; otherwise, two rounds of spades throw West in for a heart lead into South's ♥A-J.
2. If West ducks, South leads the ♠6 to North's ♠J and North cashes a top spade. If West still has the ♠3 now, North's next card is the ♦9; otherwise it is the ♦4. In the first case, either West ducks again, in which case North cashes the other top spade and throws West in as a stepping-stone to South's hearts, or West wins and lets South get in with the last diamond to score the ♥A and finesse the ♠4. In the second case, South plays the ♦Q, forcing West to win and return the suit. But again North plays ♠A and the last spade to make West a stepping-stone to the hearts.
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: 03 June, 2019