Competition Problem 24
by Jean-Marc Bihl
West to lead and East-West to defeat South's four spades.
Successful solvers: None. Several solvers correctly specified West's duck at trick 2 but didn't consider both of the subsequent plays by South that I have described.
West must lead a diamond, to the ♦Q, ♦K and ♦A. South's best try is to lead the ♥10, but West ducks! There are now two good tries by declarer that need to be considered.
A. Ruff a diamond, cash one top heart, and lead a low spade towards the ♠J. But East wins and returns a spade!
B. Finesse a club and lead a low trump. East wins and leads a second club. North wins and leads a second trump. East wins and leads a diamond. North ruffs and South comes to hand on the ♠J to lead the ♥9. But West ducks again!
If, in A, East returns a club, North can win two club tricks and advance the ♥K. East ruffs and returns a diamond but North ruffs that and can now cash ♠A and lead a heart to make two more tricks by ruffing, East trumping a loser at trick 13.
If West covers the first heart, North wins and leads a low spade. East wins and returns a diamond, ruffed by North, who leads another low spade. East wins again and this time returns the suit to South's ♠J. The ♥9 is allowed to hold but North wins two clubs and the ♠A to catch West in a triple squeeze. A similar triple squeeze arises against other defences, such as a club opening lead.
See the solution to Competition Problem #4 for the recommended tabular format if you prefer not to write in English prose.
© Hugh Darwen, 2007
Date last modified: 11 March, 2017