Double Dummy Corner

Competition Problem 10

composed by Hugh Darwen
presented for solving in December, 2005

 DR6 ♠ AQ2 ♥ A987 ♦ A43 ♣ 972 ♠ K7 ♥ K432 ♦ K65 ♣ QJ105 ♠ J1098 ♥ J1065 ♦ 1087 ♣ 84 ♠ 6543 ♥ Q ♦ QJ92 ♣ AK63

South to make five diamonds.  West leads the ♣Q.

Successful solvers:   Steve Bloom, Ian Budden, Helge Leonhardsen, László Majoros, Bircan Öztürk, Andrew Prothero, Daniël de Lind van Wijngaarden, Wim van der Zijden.

Overall winner, 2005:  Jean-Marc Bihl (28).  Runners-up: Steve Bloom, Andrew Prothero.  The competition ran from June to December.  In future it runs from January to December.

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Solution

Some solvers overlooked the need for Line B below.  Because of that, the DR is a little higher than most expected.

Declarer aims to endplay West in clubs so as to make ♣6 score the eleventh trick.  How this endplay is reached varies significantly according to when West chooses to play the red kings.

South wins the first trick, North unblocking the ♣7, and leads the Q.

A.      If West covers, North wins and leads another heart, covered by East (best) and ruffed by South, who now advances the Q.

1.       If West covers, North ducks!  South wins the trump continuation in hand and leads a spade, North finessing.  North's third heart is allowed to hold, South discarding a spade.  South ruffs the last heart, crosses to North on a spade, draws the remaining trumps with the A, and runs the 9 to West, who is thus endplayed.

2.       If West ducks, the Q holds and declarer takes the spade finesse.  (Trap: If declarer instead leads another diamond, West plays the K!)  The third heart holds as in A.1, and then South ruffs the fourth heart and advances the J.  West's K is allowed to hold, and then North wins a spade and a diamond before running the 9 as in A.1.  (If West leads the J when in on the K, South wins and, after crossing on a spade and drawing trumps, establishes the 6 by force.)

B.       If West ducks, the Q holds and South advances the Q.

1.       If West covers, North wins and leads another diamond, South finessing the 9.  Either immediately or after a third round of trumps, South leads a spade and makes an avoidance play, losing either the first or the second round of spades to West's K.  The J (if South hasn't played it earlier) and North's major suit aces bring South down to three clubs and a trump and force West to keep three clubs (otherwise South sets up the long club) and a heart.  South ruffs a heart and leads the 3 to guarantee two tricks in that suit.

2.       If West ducks, South continues with a low trump to North's A.

(a)      If West plays the K, North leads a third trump to South's J.  Play now follows B.1.

(b)     If West plays low, South gets two heart ruffs, using the spade finesse as the entry for the second.  North is entered on a second spade and, having cashed the A at some stage in this sequence, throws West in on K, South discarding a spade.  South captures the J with the A and leads the 3 to set up the 6.

It makes no material difference in line A if East ducks the second heart or covers the third.

See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.

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